Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Pianist Lara Downes Resurrects Lyrical Short Works by Black Women Composers

Pianist Lara Downes has a new ep, Phenomenal Women, a collection of relatively obscure short works by female composers of color streaming at Spotify. She opens solo with Hazel Scott’s Peace of Mind, a glistening, highly ornamented neoromantic 1954 ballad. Soprano Nicole Cabell joins Downes for a dramatic but enigmatic take of Margaret Bonds’ What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, a setting of an Edna St. Vincent Millay text.

Nora’s Dance, a 1921 hit by Nora Holt, has a joyous ragtime lilt. The final cut is Florence Price’s Barcarolle, which makes an aptly elegant segue. Nonstandard repertoire righteously resurrected and played with considerable grace by an artist with a significant following from her popular radio gig. May that inspire us as positive forces in our own spheres of influence.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | classical music, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment