Dvorak's Prophecy: And the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music
Joseph Horowitz ranges throughout American cultural history, from Frederick Douglass and Huckleberry Finn to George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the work of Ralph Ellison, searching for explanations. Challenging the standard narrative for American classical music fashioned by Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, he looks back to literary figures-Emerson, Melville, and Twain-to ponder how American music can connect with a “usable past.” The result is a new paradigm that makes room for Black composers, including Harry Burleigh, Nathaniel Dett, William Levi Dawson, and Florence Price, while giving increased prominence to Charles Ives and George Gershwin.
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