Kellen Gray & RSNO - African American Voices II - Textura

Enhancing the already considerable value of African American Voices II is the fact that it features the first commercial recordings of orchestral works by Margaret Bonds (1913-72), Ulysses Kay (1917-95), and Coleridge Taylor-Perkinson (1932–2004). The forty-eight-minute release, recorded in Scotland's Studio, Glasgow in February 2023, is a superb complement to the 2022 volume issued by conductor Kellen Gray and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and featuring material by William Levi Dawson, William Grant Still, and George Walker. Having the pieces by Bonds, Kay, and Taylor-Perkinson available in a physical form for the first time feels like a wrong properly righted.

Just as they did with the first volume, Gray and the RSNO honour Bonds, Kay, and Taylor-Perkinson with these performances, showing once again that these are works that rightfully deserve a place on any of today's symphony concert stages, Montgomery Variations in particular. With the first two volumes being so rewarding, one naturally hopes that a third might soon be under consideration.

01 December 2023