BLACKS IN CLASSICAL MUSIC: A Personal History by Raoul Abdul

BLACKS IN CLASSICAL MUSIC: A Personal History

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Abdul, veteran music critic for the black press, has collected twenty years' worth of mini-reviews, has grouped them by function (composers, singers, instrumentalists, conductors, etc.), and has added biographies, thumbnail or a bit bigger, of the performers and creators involved. The result is a sketchy, bland (except for occasional lashings-out at other critics), and undeveloped hodgepodge that addresses none of the black artist's contemporary problems in depth or focus--so that Abdul's last-page attack on ""racism in classical music"" doesn't seem to connect with the success stories of Leontyne Price, AndrÉ (""token"") Watts, and Henry Lewis. Still, though such giants as Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, and Scott Joplin are far better served elsewhere, some of the references to early or lesser-known mavericks are intriguing; perhaps Abdul's annotated list of names and dates (and some recordings) will prove useful to whoever undertakes the more ambitious and probing study that inevitably lies ahead.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1977
Publisher: Dodd, Mead