OUT NOW | Violinist Rachel Barton Pine Plays Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries
Released on Cedille Records, this album marks 25 years since Pine’s 1997 album release of 18th and 19th-century violin concertos by Black composers
American violinist Rachel Barton Pine has released “Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries,” marking the 25th anniversary of her pioneering 1997 album, “Violin Concertos by Black composers of the 18th & 19th Centuries.”
This new disc is Pine’s 22nd with Cedille Records and expands the program of her 1997 album into the 20th century to include Pine’s recent recording of Florence Price’s 1952 Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and American conductor Jonathon Heyward.
“Interpreting [Price’s] Violin Concerto No. 2 was a challenge,” Pine wrote in the program notes. “Performance traditions passed from teacher to student going back to the time of the concerto’s premiere are simply missing. Fortunately, I had access to her manuscripts,” she continued. “Heyward and I had to make decisions based on our instincts and best guesses, and I’m very grateful to him for his care and commitment to doing justice to Price’s masterpiece. I can’t wait to share this concerto with live audiences this season and beyond.”
Also on the disc are reissues of three performances from Pine’s 1997 album, which she recorded with Chicago’s Encore Chamber Orchestra and conductor Daniel Hege, including Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ Violin Concerto in A major, José White Lafitte’s Violin Concerto in F-sharp minor, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Romance in G major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 39.
“It’s been wonderful to see the music of Bologne, Coleridge-Taylor, Price, and others growing ever more popular and finding their long overdue place in the repertoire,” Price added. “I urge everyone to seek out and play works by as many Black composers as possible…There are still so many undeservedly neglected works to discover and share!”
On her performance of these works, Pine remarked: “I’m occasionally asked if it’s appropriate for me, as a white artist, to perform repertoire by Black composers. Interestingly, no one ever asks the same question when I play Tchaikovsky or Sibelius even though I’m neither Russian nor Finnish.
“While other genres may struggle with cultural appreciation versus appropriation, I believe that classical composers want their music to be as widely heard as possible…Please join me in celebrating the 25-year anniversary of this groundbreaking recording and these extraordinary composers whose remarkable works inspire everyone who loves classical music and the violin,” she said.
To purchase and listen to the album, click here.
Between October 1, 2022, and March 20, 2023, Pine will perform works from her new album with the Berkeley Symphony, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Walla Walla Symphony, alongside conductors including Joseph Young, Christopher Zimmerman, Mei-Ann Chen, Vladimir Kulenovic, and Yaacov Bergman. .
Pine made her orchestral debut at age 10 with the Chicago Symphony and since then received prizes from the Bach, Szigeti, Kreisler, Montreal, Paganini, and Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competitions. Her orchestral appearances have included Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, and Camerata Salzburg.
Pine plays on the 1742 “ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat” Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu violin made in Cremona — on a lifetime loan from her patron.