Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra proudly presents the re-release of Le Mozart Noir, an award-winning film that uncovers the mystery around Joseph Boulogne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a Black eighteenth-century violinist and composer. The son of a French owner of a plantation in Guadaloupe and a Black slave, Saint-Georges overcame adversities of class, race, and prejudice to become a highly regarded musical figure in pre-Revolutionary Paris. Saint-Georges also possessed remarkable skills as an accomplished athlete, swordsman, and military man who led a troop of 1000 Black soldiers known as the “Légion Saint-Georges.” Through dramatic recreations and interviews with expert musicians and musicologists, Le Mozart Noir portraysRead more Saint-Georges’ rise to prominence as one of France’s most popular heroes, and his tragic fall from history. Le Mozart Noir offers a window into the spirit of this remarkable historical figure and features the music of Saint-Georges, along with works by his mentors Jean-Marie Leclair and François-Joseph Gossec, performed by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Emerita Jeanne Lamon.
This is a welcome re-release from 2002, featuring an hour-long DVD docudrama on the life of the significant 18th-century Parisian composer Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was the son of a slave. There is also a full-length CD recording of several of Saint-Georges’ compositions, as well as a movement of a Leclair violin concerto and a symphony by Gossec. The DVD is entertaining, educational and quite moving in its presentation of the life of this remarkable and unique musician, athlete, and military leader. The recorded sound is excellent and the performances are first-rate.