SOULSCAPES 2Piano Music by Women of African Descent
Eleanor Alberga, Judith Baity, Maria Thompson Corley, Krystal Grant Folkestad, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Betty Jackson King, Tania León, Joyce Solomon Moorman, Nkeiru Okoye, Julia Perry, Florence Price, Shirley Thompson, Errollyn Wallen, Mary Lou Williams
MARIA THOMPSON CORLEY, piano
"An excellent collection of varied piano works by 14 women composers from all over the world"
Pan Pipes (SAI) [Spring 2022]
"Maria Thompson Corley, a gifted pianist with many performances to her credit, provides well-deserved recognition for 14 composers of African descent in an omnibus recording of their work... you may find some of the compositions easily assimilated while others might take more than one listening to fully appreciate. Many of us are steeped in the European musical tradition and what has come of it as expressed in the 20th and 21th centuries. It is therefore worthy, out of respect to the world of music as a whole, to step back and consider how music arises otherwise, in this case from African heritage."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [February 2022]
"Fantasie Negre, the last and longest work on the disc, is both the most-substantial piece on the CD and the most musically and emotionally satisfying. Corley plays it with strength and conviction, and also handles the rest of the music quite well..."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [March 2022]
PROGRAM NOTESClick HERE to see an interesting interview with Maria Thompson Corley and Leah Caliborne, a pianist, scholar and champion of diversity in classical music.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, Maria Thompson Corley has performed internationally as both as a solo and collaborative artist at notable venues, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Aaron Davis Hall, Epidaurus Festival, Liszt Academy, and at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History. Among her collaborators are soprano Priscilla Baskerville, clarinetist James Campbell, clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati, baritone Randall Scarlata, and members of the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra. Her engagements as a soloist with orchestra include the Tallahassee Symphony under the baton of Gunther Schuller. She and cellist Sara Male formed Duo Chiaroscuro in 2011; among their passions is performing concerts for people whose special needs prevent strict observance of concert protocols. Corley has recorded for Naxos, Albany, Parma, and several independent labels. Her recording of Valerie Capers’ Portraits in Jazz was included in the HBO special, Kebreeya’s Salad Days, and her recording of Leslie Adams’ Etude in C-sharp minor was included in director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. A sought-after composer and arranger, her piano piece, Lucid Dreaming, was a semi-finalist in the international Fidelio competition. Her music has been commissioned and recorded by several university artists and entities, along with independent musicians, including tubist Daniel Rowland, countertenor Darryl Taylor, sopranos Sequina Dubose, Louise Toppin and Randye Jones, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, and others. Corley’s song cycle Grasping Water was added to the music curricula at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, University of California in Irvine and Jackdaws Music Education Trust in the United Kingdom. Her debut short-form opera, The Sky Where You Are, with libretto by Jenny O’Connell, was part of the award-winning Decameron Opera Coalition’s Tales from a Safe Distance. Her second short-form opera, The Place, with libretto by Sandra Oyinloye, was composed for Decameron Opera Coalition’s subsequent production, Heroes. Dr. Corley earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta in Canada, and a Master’s degree and Doctorate at The Juilliard School.
[ www.mariacorley.com ]
PROGRAMEleanor Alberga (b.1958) | Jamaica
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (b.1923) | Ethiopia
Nkeiru Okoye (b.1972) | USA
Betty Jackson King (1928-1994) | USA
SEASONAL SKETCHES – Spring Intermezzo
Julia Perry (1924-1979) | USA
Joyce Solomon Moorman (b.1946) | USA
A SUMMER AFTERNOON IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Tania León (b.1945) | Cuba
Krystal Grant Folkestad (b.1983) | USA
RIVERS I HAVE WALKED
Errollyn Wallen (b.1958) | Belize
I WOULDN’T NORMALLY SAY
Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) | USA
Judith Baity (b.1944) | USA
Q & A
Shirley Thompson (b.1958) | England
Maria Thompson Corley (b.1966) | Jamaica
NAUGHTYCAL GLIMPSES: TALES OF A KINDERGARTEN CLASS
1. The Early Morning March
3. Teacher Tells a Mythical Tale
4. Skipping Homeward
Florence Price (1887-1953) | USA
Recorded 6 and 17 June 2021 at the Church of the Apostles UCC, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Recording and editing engineer: Mike Furst. Steinway B piano; Technician: Dawn Herring.