Just as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart were settling the backbone of Western European musical canon, across the Atlantic, in the American Colonies, slave songs and Negro spirituals were born from the pain and tribulations of African people deprived of fundamental rights. Largely inspired by Old Testament stories of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt, the songs express grief, sorrow, but also joy and desire for freedom. A true hymn to resilience and a symbol of hope and faith in humanity, the powerful and beautiful Spirituals have influenced most of modern popular music whether it is ragtime, barbershop, jazz, gospel, blues, rock, techno and even forms of electronic music.
To grant the genre its true place in music history and thus honour its original interpreters, American countertenor Reginald Mobley has joined forces with French jazz pianist Baptiste Trotignon in this unique collaboration to offer a newly curated programme of songs written by black composers such as HT Burleigh, Florence Price and J Rosamond Johnson, alongside their own improvisational arrangements on original texts.
‘…the voice that many in the audience left the hall raving about was that of countertenor Reginald Mobley, also pure of tone, immaculate in his articulation and with a personal approach to ornamentation that was never too much and always musical.’ Keith Bruce, The Herald
Join us 6.30pm - 7.00pm for an illustrated talk by Dr Matthew Williams, and after the concert for a short Q&A session with the artists.
National Centre for Early Music Opening Hours
Monday - Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm