Monthly Archives: August 2016

Excellent Play about Sister Rosetta Tharpe

rosetta

Go see this play!  It is well told, well acted, and the music is first class.  Marie and Rosetta is put on by the Atlantic Theater Company at the Linda Gross Theater on W. 20th Street through October.

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You Tube Video on Robeson Program

I will be traveling again this year with actor Grant Cooper sharing our program on Paul Robeson which is based on themes from my book Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art!

Please find a short video here which describes what we do if you are interested in booking our program.  We are already booked for Robeson’s birthday in April!

book cover

 

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Mozart Mass in C and Requiem

mozart

What a tremendous concert! The first mass was from the 1780s and you could really hear the influence of Bach and Handel. But the Requiem from 1791 had such power. It really pointed the way to the manner in which Beethoven would use choral arrangements to achieve such a big, strong sound.

Some of the parts of the Requiem bring me to tears. The beginning is like a struggle, like he is fighting to stay on the earth. But then there is such tender beauty and an ethereal, gentle quality to the last notes Mozart wrote. Like he was letting himself go to be with the angels.

After the concert was over and there had been three ovations, the conductor, Louis Langree who led the orchestra with such passion, took a microphone and spoke of the importance of the two pieces. He then said they were going to replay the final notes that Mozart ever wrote. About half of the audience had left. But those still there sat down quietly and heard the orchestra and chorale perform the Lacrimosa. The last notes seemed to float in the air like something straight from heaven. You could have heard a pin drop. There was this incredible moment of silence as the music washed over us and then a burst of heartfelt applause. I’ve been to the symphony in many places including Vienna but I have never experienced anything quite like that. I was in tears. It was a moment to never, never forget. There IS true beauty that transcends this human world of flesh and bone. That was spirit. The spirit that connects all of us and touches us at the core as nothing else can.

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