Sunday, October 30, 2022  –  3:00 pm

Hoffman Auditorium, Bruyette Athenaeum 
University of St. Joseph, West Hartford

Take a musical journey through the American experience in these captured moments. Featuring the works of Florence Price, an African American composer whose works were thought to be lost after her death in 1953 and Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with narrator Jerry Franklin, and more, this concert will be a wonderful start to the new season.

Tickets

Featuring

Jerry Franklin, Narrator

Nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming. After 34 years as President/CEO of Connecticut Public TV and Radio, Jerry Franklin retired on June 30, 2019. During his tenure, the following was accomplished: 2 National Emmy Awards, 100 Regional Emmy Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award from Hartford Business Journal, and more.

The Music

PRICE Ethiopia’s Shadow in America

I. Introduction and Allegretto: The Arrival of the Negro* in America when first brought here as a slave 

II. Andante: His Resignation and Faith 

III. Allegro: His Adaptation – A fusion of his native and acquired impulses

COPLAND Lincoln Portrait (arr. W. Beeler)

JERRY FRANKLIN, narrator

MUSSORGSKY Pictures At An Exhibition (Orch. Tushmalov) 

Promenade 

The Old Castle

Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks 

“Samuel” Goldenberg and “Schmuÿle”

Limoges. The Market (The Great News)

Catacombs (Roman Tomb) – With the Dead in a Dead Language

The Hut on Hen’s Legs (Baba Yaga)

The Bogatyr Gates (In the Capital in Kyiv)

*this was the wording by Florence Price in her own hand on her original manuscript. It is presented here as the composer intended. 


Notes on the Program

Florence Price (1887 – 1953) African-American, Female 

Ethiopia’s Shadow in America (1932)

First Performance: Unknown, not performed during the composer’s lifetime. 

First Documented Performance & Recording: BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Daniel Blendulf, conductor (2015)

Florence Price’s music has received a much-deserved renaissance in the last two decades, especially in the last five years. Following her death in 1953, her music disappeared from concert halls and stages, and could rarely be found in rental catalogs and through publishers. That said, in 2009 a treasure trove of manuscripts were discovered in her former summer home which led to the resurgence and publication of a vast catalog of orchestral works, many of which are now being performed for the first time across the world. Ethiopia is no exception and is believed to be her first formal orchestral composition. Musicologist Jon Kochavi writes “Price’s music had the uncanny knack of capturing the spirit of African American folk idioms without quoting directly from any specific song or melody. Much of this quality came from rhythmic elements.”

Aaron Copland (1900-1990) American, LGBTQ+

Lincoln Portrait (1942)

First performance: Cincinnati. 14 May 1942. William Adams, narrator; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Commissioned by Andrew Kostelanetz for the New York Philharmonic, Copland was asked to write a piece honoring an eminent American. Written during a time of international war and America’s recent entry into World War II, it is fitting that he selected Abraham Lincoln as the focus of the work. The composition features a narrator who quotes from Lincoln’s speeches including the Gettysburg Address. The narrator does not “play” the part of Lincoln, but rather acts as the presenter and works with the orchestral accompaniment to add drama in both word and harmony to Lincoln’s text. This afternoon’s performance is a wind version arranged by the composer. Many well-known individuals have served as narrators with major symphony orchestras such as Gregory Peck, Tom Hanks, Marian Anderson, Walter Cronkite, Margaret Thatcher, and James Earl Jones to name a few. 

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839 – 1881) Russian
Mikhail Tushmalov (1861 – 1896) Georgian

Pictures At An Exhibition (1874/1886)

First Performance: Piano version (unknown). As orchestrated by Tushmalov, 12 December 1891 conducted by Rimsky-Korsakov in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Pictures at an Exhibition was originally composed as a 10-movement suite for piano based on a series of artwork by Viktor Hartmann. The version performed today is the first known orchestration of the work. It is believed to have been initially sketched by Rimsky-Korsakov but taken over by his student Tushmalov who orchestrated eight movements and omitted a number of transitory promenades. Unlike Ravel’s exuberant and wilder orchestration, Tushmalov presents a more centered and authentic sound, more akin to the orchestration technique of the Russian tradition as espoused by Rimsky-Korsakov, who orchestrated many of Mussorgsky’s work.