Re: Creole Composers
- 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
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.