Horowitz: Dvorak's Prophecy - A New Narrative for American Classical Music: Film 1 / PostClassical Ensemble [DVD]

Release Date: 11/12/2021
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 2110703
Performer: Kevin Deas
Orchestra/Ensemble: PostClassical Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 83 Minutes

Physical Format:

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

“Dvořák's New World Symphony - A Lens on the American Experience of Race”
A PostClassical Ensemble “More than Music” film
Written and produced by Joseph Horowitz
Visual presentation by Peter Bogdanoff
Film one in the six-film Naxos series:
“Dvorak’s Prophecy: A New Narrative for American Classical Music”

 

The six documentary films in this series align with Joe Horowitz's new book 'Dvořák’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music'. Like the book, they explore a “new paradigm” for the history of classical music in the United States. Why classical music in America “stayed white” is a central concern of Dvořák’s Prophecy." The films incorporate Naxos recordings as well as live performances, including William Sharp singing Ives, Kevin Deas singing Harry Burleigh, and Dennis Russell Davies conducting Harrison’s Piano Concerto. Participating commentators include critic Alex Ross, Black Classical Music pioneer George Shirley, music historians Bill Alves, Beth Levy, and Judith Tick, and the African-American conductors Roderick Cox and the late Michael Morgan.

 

This first film in the series keys on Dvořák’s prophecy and explores its present-day pertinence. In New York City and Spillville, Iowa, Dvořák boldly chose to regard African-Americans and Native Americans as representative Americans. That decision was both acclaimed and ridiculed at the time. It remains inspirational. His New World Symphony, still the best known and best loved symphonic work conceived on American soil, is saturated with the influence of plantation song, and also with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha. This act of appropriation, the film argues, was an act of empathy performed by a great humanitarian. The musical selections here are mainly taken from the Hiawatha Melodrama, which Joe Horowitz co-composed with the music historian Michael Beckerman with orchestrations by Angel Gil-Ordonez. It mates Dvorak with Longfellow. The participating commentators include the music historians Mark Clague and Lorenzo Candelaria, the literary historian Brian Yothers, the conductor JoAnn Falletta, faculty members from Howard University – and also (sagely commenting on cultural appropriation) the bass-baritone Kevin Deas, and the late Michael Morgan.

 

"Horowitz's six beautiful films reveal a compelling inclusive tradition in American classical music, open to influences from popular, Black, Native American, and world music, this music is deeply interwoven with American culture." – J. Peter Burkholder, author of A History of Western Music and Listening to Charles Ives.

Works on This Recording
1. Dvořák's Prophecy - A New Narrative for American Classical Music: Film 1: Dvořák's New World Symphony - A Lens on the American Experience of Race (NTSC) by Antonín Dvořák
Performer: Kevin Deas (Narrator), Kevin Deas (Bass-baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble: PostClassical Ensemble
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