The Black Composers Series: 1974-1978
In the 1970s, CBS Masterworks released a series of groundbreaking albums featuring the music of Black composers. Curated by and featuring the pioneering conductor Paul Freeman, these eight albums covered over two centuries of music, from the swashbuckling symphonist Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint Georges to Panamanian Roque Cordero and Rochester’s George Walker and Eastman School of Music graduate Ulysses Kay. Forty years later, Sony dusted off the analog tapes, remastered them, and released them in this well-priced, eight CD set.
This is a wonderful, and much needed collection for classical music, reminding us that Black musicians have been creating superb works for centuries, and giving us a chance to revel in the works of William Grant Still, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Fela Sowande, and many more, including an entire CD dedicated to symphonic spirituals. As we embrace equity, this set stands as a must-own for classical collections.