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Re: Creole Composers

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Thanks Bill !! This is great information -- very interesting!! And also Welcome to Gen-Mixed as well. Bill Zick wrote: The recent discussion
    Message 1 of 2 , May 26, 2007
      Thanks Bill !!
      This is great information -- very interesting!!
      And also 'Welcome' to 'Gen-Mixed' as well.

      "Bill Zick" <wzick@...> wrote:

      The recent discussion of Creoles prompts me to
      point out that two Creole composers of classical
      music in New Orleans are profiled at my
      website http://www.AfriClassical.com:
      Edmond Dede (1827-1903) and Charles
      Lucien Lambert, Sr. (1828-1896).

      In addition, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges
      (1745-1799), the most successful composer
      of African descent in history, was considered
      by the French to be a Creole of color.
      His mother was a slave of African descent
      and his father was a White plantation owner
      on the French West Indies island of Guadeloupe.
      Saint-Georges first won fame as France's
      best fencer, before establishing himself
      as a virtuoso violinist, fashionable composer
      and conductor of the best orchestras in Paris.

      In the French Revolution, he was Colonel of
      a Legion of 1,000 volunteers of color, and
      was briefly recognized as a hero for saving
      the French Republic from a superior force
      attempting to restore the monarchy.
      A number of CDs of his music are discussed
      at http://www.AfriClassical.com, as is a DVD of
      his life and music, "Le Mozart Noir" ("The black
      Mozart"), and biographies in English and French.
      Historians reject the nickname as inappropriate,
      as Saint-Georges and Mozart had very
      different careers, and Saint-Georges was
      the one who influenced the younger Mozart.

      Edmond Dede studied violin with Constantin
      Debergue, a free black violinist and a
      director of the Philharmonic Society.
      The ensemble was founded by Creoles of color
      and included over 100 performers,
      including a few White musicians.
      Dede first fled the hostile racial climate
      for a period of music study in Mexico.
      His 1852 composition "Mon pauvre coeur"
      ("My Poor Heart") is the oldest surviving piece
      of sheet music by a New Orleans Creole of color.

      Upon his return from Mexico, Dede made cigars
      for a living until his funds and donations
      enabled him to travel to Europe.
      He graduated from the Paris Conservatory of Music
      and was a conductor in Bordeaux for 27 years.
      Dede married a French woman; their son Eugene
      Arcade Dede also composed classical music.

      Charles Lucien Lambert, Sr. was living in Paris
      by 1854, the publication date of his composition
      "L'Angélus au monastère: Prière"
      ("The Angelus at the Monastery: Prayer"),
      which is held in the French National Library.
      Lambert's son Lucien-Leon Guillaume Lambert,
      Jr. (1858-1945) was born in France and had
      a successful career as a composer and
      pianist in that country and in Portugal.
      His father moved the family to Brazil in the
      1860s, to open a piano store and teach music.
      He later became a member of the
      Brazilian National Institute of Music.

      A total of 52 composers, conductors
      and instrumentalists of African descent
      are profiled at http://www.AfriClassical.com.
      Over 100 free audio samples
      can be heard at the website.

      Contrary to stereotypes, classical music
      has been enriched by people of African
      descent as long as the genre has existed.

      I am not a person of African descent, but I firmly
      believe justice and historical accuracy require
      that the rich African heritage in classical
      music be known to people of all races.

      My website presents only a tiny fraction of the
      huge number of people of African descent who
      have helped make classical music what it is.

      The website provides links to other resources as well.
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