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A superb craftsman

Music by Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges -
investigated by

'... spirited, inventive and charming ...'

Le Mozart Noir - Music of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. © 2003 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

O J Simpson and his legal 'dream team', it seems, were not the only ones to play the race card to sell an idea. Illustrating the cover of this CD is a carefully posed photograph of a most elegantly attired gentleman. Staring somewhat smugly into the camera, he seems to embody an idea of the eighteenth century aristocracy. Indeed, his three cornered hat, powdered wig and silk finery convey what is surely a costumer's vision of that era and its mannered decorum. Of course, what stands out here, in sharp contradiction to conventional historical images depicting malnourished slaves in chains, is that the gentleman is black. He is a stand-in, it seems, for the eponym of this CD, and the composer of the works it is devoted to: Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1748-1799).

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Copyright © 7 January 2004 John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA


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