New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs & Orchestra, with conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather give the world-premiere recording of 20th-century African-American composer Margaret Bonds’ Christmas cantata, The Ballad of the Brown King, alongside a selection of specially arranged songs performed by baritone Merriweather with harpist and Bonds authority Ashley Jackson.
20th-century African-American composer Margaret Bonds receives long overdue recognition with the world-premiere recording of her crowning achievement, The Ballad of the Brown King. With an expressly written libretto by Bonds’ friend Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata which focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ, is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, outstanding soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, under the baton of their charismatic conductor, Malcolm J. Merriweather. Bonds authority Dr. Ashley Jackson contributes the inspired liner notes.
This unique seasonal album also includes a selection of specially arranged songs, including a setting of Hughes’ seminal poem I, Too, Sing America, performed by baritone Merriweather and Jackson on solo harp.
“This young maestro displays command as well as a terrific sense of humor, enabling him to bring out the best in all the singers.” - New York Arts
Merriweather “compelled the audience to share the experience with him through the force of his gravity and dignified expression” - Opera News