Music of William Dawson & Ulysses Kay

June 29, 2020, 9:00 am

Share this Post

William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony was premiered by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934 to huge enthusiasm. Its traditional form houses a continuous process of variation and introduces little-known spirituals in fragmentary form, while the work’s recurring motifs, remarkable transitions, and syncopations are enhanced in Dawson’s 1952 revision heard here. The Fantasy Variations by Ulysses Kay employs dissonance with great expressivity in a work of textural and coloristic variety. Kay’s Umbrian Scene, despite its pictorial suggestion, is lean and sombre. Arthur Fagen leads the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.