Jul 22, 2022, 7:30pm EDT
Program Notes & Works
The title of Simon’s Tales: A Folklore Symphony, of which Motherboxx Connection is the opening movement, suggests ties to such earlier African American composers as William Dawson (e.g., his Negro Folk Symphony) and William Grant Still.
Knoxville: Summer of 1915, for soprano and orchestra
Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is one of the bona fide classics of American music (not quite attaining the status of the composer’s universally beloved Adagio for Strings).
New World A-Coming, for piano and orchestra
New World A-Coming takes its title from a 1943 social history of Harlem by the prominent journalist Roi Ottley: New Day A-Coming: Inside Black America. Ellington was a voracious student of the African American experience, depictions of which laid the foundations for his large-scale works.
An American in Paris
The Boston Pops began playing the piece regularly in 1929 with performances under Alfredo Casella, but the first BSO performance came much later, on August 9, 1974, at Tanglewood with Arthur Fiedler conducting.