April 26, 2009

Native influence on classical music

Pianist Orgel explores Native American influenceWas there actually a Native American influence on classical music?

Shelburne pianist Paul Orgel explored just that question in a solo recital titled "American Suite," Sunday at Saint Michael's College's McCarthy Arts Center, part of the school's Humanities Program Concert Series. And if Orgel's excellent recital was any indication, it indeed had some influence.

Orgel's programming was quite imaginative. He used Antonin Dvorak's "American Suite" as a base, interjecting works by later composers between the five movements of the suite. This proved ingenious as it may well have been the Czech Dvorak (1841-1904) that first created an "American" sound. Indeed, he was invited to the United States to help American composers develop an indigenous sound. Dvorak implored the Americans to utilize their own native sounds-–particularly Native American and African American.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Mixing Classical and Indigenous Music.

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