CLASSY CON­CERT

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Michael Reck­ord Gleaner Writer

THE WORK of 18thCen­tury clas­si­cal mu­si­cian Sa­muel Fel­sted, Ja­maica’s first doc­u­mented com­poser and the first known com­poser of an or­a­to­rio in the West­ern Hemi­sphere, will be avail­able on­line in Jan­uary 2017. Fa­cil­i­tat­ing ac­cess to the mu­sic by putting it in a dig­i­tal form is Man­fredo Zim­mer­mann, pro­fes­sor of recorder and baroque flute at the Mu­sic Univer­sity of Cologne.

That news was given at a clas­si­cal mu­sic con­cert fea­tur­ing Ja­maican com­posers at the St Andrew Par­ish Church on Sun­day. Zim­mer­mann, a spe­cial guest con­duc­tor and per­former at the con­cert, was in Ja­maica cour­tesy of the Ger­man and Ar­gen­tine em­bassies, as he is a ci­ti­zen of both coun­tries.

Also per­form­ing were soloists Kimiela Isaacs (so­prano), Stephen Shaw-Naar (counter-tenor) and Rosina Christina Moder (on recorder). The groups per­form­ing were The Univer­sity Singers, The Pi­mento String Quar­tet, some for­mer Na­tional Dance Theatre Com­pany (NDTC) Singers and the Sa­muel Fel­sted Cham­ber Orches­tra.

Ac­com­pa­nists for the var­i­ous per­form­ers were Paul Bick­nell (or­gan), Roger Wil­liams (pi­ano), Rafael Salazar (clar­inet), Archie Dunk­ley and Kathy Brown (key­board), and Mar­jorie Whylie (key­board and conga drum).

AP­PRO­PRI­ATE EX­PER­TISE

Their ex­per­tise was ap­pro­pri­ate, con­sid­er­ing the im­por­tance of the Ja­maican com­posers be­ing cel­e­brated. In ad­di­tion to Fel­sted, there were Whylie, Franklin Hal­libur­ton, Paulette Bel­lamy, Noel Dex­ter and Peter Ash­bourne.

Whether by ac­ci­dent or de­sign, the mu­sic se­lected for the con­cert was al­most en­tirely joy­ous and the small au­di­ence ex­pressed de­light dur­ing the show with en­thu­si­as­tic ap­plause and, at the end, left the church with favourable com­ments on their lips and smiles on their faces.

The con­cert opened with a lovely ren­di­tion by Isaacs of the pop­u­lar pa­tri­otic song Ja­maica, Land of Beauty (words by A. L. Hen­driks, mu­sic by Lloyd Hall). Hall’s name came up later in the con­cert in, un­for­tu­nately, a less pos­i­tive con­text.

“We need help,” Moder, the con­cert’s or­gan­iser, told the au­di­ence as she spoke of the need for a build­ing to keep the work of the is­land’s de­ceased clas­si­cal com­posers. They in­clude Oswald Rus­sell, Robert Light­bourne and Hall, who left eight boxes of his mu­si­cal pa­pers Mar­jorie Whylie

which, Moder re­vealed, were “sent to the River­ton City dump” be­fore she could col­lect them.

Three of Fel­sted’s com­po­si­tions fol­lowed the open­ing item. They were Tune Your Harps, Your Voices Raise (from the Jonah or­a­to­tio), sung by The Univer­sity Singers and ac­com­pa­nied by the Sa­muel Fel­sted Cham­ber Orches­tra con­ducted by Zim­mer­mann; the third Vol­un­tary for Or­gan (from Fel­sted’s col­lec­tion of Six Vol­un­tarys for Or­gan and Harp­si­chord), played by Bick­nell; and the aria Lord I Obey, from Jonah, sung by Isaacs. She was ac­com­pa­nied by Moder and Zim­mer­mann on recorders, Emily Dixon on cello and Shaw-Naar on harp­si­chord.

Moder re­turned right af­ter to play the cheer­ful Ash­bourne com­po­si­tion Elena, based on the pop­u­lar Ja­maican folk song. The com­poser him­self led his Pi­mento quar­tet his bouncy med­ley of folk songs, in­clud­ing Para­keet in De Gar­den, Lin­stead Mar­ket and Mango Walk.

It was then Whylie’s turn to lead an en­sem­ble of for­mer NDTC Singers with her own com­po­si­tions. Play­ing key­board, and later a conga drum, Whylie ac­com­pa­nied them in five pieces, in­clud­ing Lord, Look at Me (with soloist Howard Cooper), To Ev­ery­thing There is a Sea­son, Our Fa­ther and Hallelujah.

Bel­lamy per­formed with the Fel­sted orches­tra in the play­ing of her charm­ing Co­conut Woman. The con­cert ended with the re­turn of the Univer­sity Singers to de­liver three of Dex­ter’s com­po­si­tions – Wash Day, Psalm 23 and the rous­ing Psalm 150, as well as Hal­libur­ton’s Ave Maria.

A one-day sym­po­sium, hosted by Mu­sic Unites Ja­maica Foun­da­tion, on the life and work of one-time St Andrew Par­ish Church or­gan­ist Fel­sted (1743-1802) had been held on Novem­ber 10 at the School of Mu­sic’s Vera Moody Con­cert Hall, Edna Man­ley Col­lege of the Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts.

Kathy Brown

Kimiela Isaacs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.