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Orchestral  African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. ll 
African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. ll
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African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. II
Chicago Sinfonietta
Paul Freeman, conductor
Cedille Records CDR 90000 061

"10/10 -- It's hard to imagine more committed or more ideally suited advocates for this exceptional and compelling music." (

"Led by conductor Paul Freeman, who has championed these composers for many years, the Chicago Sinfonietta gives excellent readings of these first-rate works." (American Record Guide)

Not since the LP era of the 1970s has there been anything like Cedille Records' African Heritage Symphonic Series.

Volume II features compositions by exceptional Black composers from the 1940s to the 1980s, performed by the Chicago Sinfonietta led by its founder and music director, Dr. Paul Freeman,"one of the finest conductors our nation has produced." (Fanfare)

Ulysses Kay's ebullient Overture to Theater Set (1968) exudes a broad and good-natured energy. George Walker's intensely romantic Lyric for Strings (1941) is one of the great gems of the string orchestra repertoire. With his acclaimed Eight Miniatures for Small Orchestra (1948), Panama's Roque Cordero succeeded in synthesizing the avant-garde techniques he learned in the U.S. with the Latin and Afro-Caribbean music of his homeland. Accented with archetypal African drumming patterns, Hale Smith's Ritual and Incantations (1974), radiates an aura of mystery and suspense. Adolphus Hailstork's An American Port of Call (1985) takes the listener on a lush, fanciful, and jazzy excursion. Ten years in the making, Hailstork's Epitaph for a Man who Dreamed (1979) pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King with passages of exquisite tenderness and noble power.
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (51:02)

ULYSSES KAY (1917-1995)
1. Overture to Theater Set (1968) (4:28)

2. Lyric for Strings (1941) (5:17)

Eight Miniatures for Small Orchestra * (1948) (11:47)
3. I. Marcha Grotesca (1:00)
4. II. Meditacion (1:14)
5. III. Pasillo (1:06)
6. IV. Danzonete (1:26)
7. V. Nocturno (2:27)
8. VI. Mejorana (1:03)
9. VII. Plegaria (1:16)
10. VIII. Allegro Final (2:12)

11. An American Port of Call * (1985) (8:32)

HALE SMITH (b. 1925)
12. Ritual and Incantations (1974) (12:45)

13. Epitaph for a Man who Dreamed * (1979) (7:37)

Recorded: May 10, 1995 (Tracks 3-11, 13) & January 15, 2001 (Tracks 1, 2, 12) in Lund Auditorium at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois. Producer: James Ginsburg Engineer: Bill Maylone Cover Photography: Martin Luther King Jr. Before a Speech Bettman/CORBIS and Memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. Flip Schulke/CORBIS. License granted by Intellectual Properties Management, Atlanta, Georgia, as manager of the King Estate. Design: Melanie Germond Notes: Dominique-Rene de Lerma
* under license from Platinum Entertainment, Inc.