×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Music of William Grant Still
     

Music of William Grant Still

by Clifford Panton
 
Centaur's Music of William Grant Still features violinist Clifford Panton and pianist Jason Alfred in what appears to be all of the music produced by William Grant Still for the medium of violin and piano. Much of this literature was created through the encouragement of violinist Louis Kaufman, who

Overview

Centaur's Music of William Grant Still features violinist Clifford Panton and pianist Jason Alfred in what appears to be all of the music produced by William Grant Still for the medium of violin and piano. Much of this literature was created through the encouragement of violinist Louis Kaufman, who was an ardent champion of Still and at one time recorded most of it. Of the 12 works represented here, only two -- the "Suite for violin and piano" and "Pastorela" -- were originally intended for the violin. However, both works, in addition to everything that is on here except for the "Two Cameos," have been arranged for countless other instrumental combinations and have been recorded in one way or the other. In order for this disc to have a raison d'etre, it must contain some extraordinary element that lifts it above the fray. Panton is an excellent violinist who knows this music well, and Jason Alfred is a capable accompanist who stays out of the spotlight, reserving it for Panton. Nevertheless, several elements in this project make it less of an attractive option than it probably should be. The recording is quiet and distant, with the violin mixed barely above the level of the piano, lacking warmth and having a rather wiry sounding quality. Music of William Grant Still is very short at 45 minutes; to have found another, musically compatible work to help fill out the measure of the disc would have been a plus. Music of William Grant Still is sequenced in a way that one tires of it by the time "Pastorela" rolls around at the end. Creative re-districting of the tracks helps lessen this aspect of the package, but the confusing and poor typesetting of the booklet is yet another thing that militates against it. In the final analysis, though, there are two reasons why Music of William Grant Still might still be desirable. The "Two Cameos" are a pair of musical scraps left behind by Still and only discovered after his death, and they have never been recorded before. Combined they do not even crack the three-minute mark, but both pieces are thoroughly charming and inventive, particularly "Procession of the Ants" (which its composer called "Pompous March"). Panton turns in a stunning performance of the "Suite for violin and piano" -- not even the indifferent sound is enough to put him down in this instance. If this proves sufficient reason to take the bait, then Centaur's Music of William Grant Still is worth the risk.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/29/2005
Label:
Centaur
UPC:
0044747275024
catalogNumber:
2750
Rank:
152485

Tracks

  1. Vignettes, for oboe, bassoon & piano: Carmela
  2. Folk Suite No.1, folksong arrangements for flute, string quartet & piano: Bambalele e Espin Garda (Two Brazilian folk songs)
  3. Here's One, for chorus & piano (various other arrangements)
  4. Visions (3), for piano: Summerland
  5. Suite for Violin and Piano
  6. Lenox Avenue, ballet for chorus, orchestra & piano: Blues
  7. Quit Dat Fool'nish, for piano and arranged for many various ensembles
  8. Two Cameos, for violin & piano
  9. Pastorela, for violin & piano, or violin & orchestra

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews