André Raphel Conducts New Recording Of Uri Caine's 'The Passion Of Octavius Catto' Available August 30
Uri Caine's ten-part oratorio, "The Passion of Octavius Catto," conducted by André Raphel, will be released on August 30 on 816 Music. This enthralling work combining classical, gospel, jazz and pop styles, features a jazz trio, a 37-piece chamber orchestra, a 32-member gospel choir and vocalist Barbara Walker. The work was recorded on August 22 and 23, 2018, at the DiMenna Center in New York City.
Octavius Catto, a pioneering figure in American history from 1800's Philadelphia, was an educator, civil/voting rights activist, orator, and baseball player in the early Negro League. Catto was educated at the Institute of Colored Youth (predecessor to Cheyney University, the Nation's first historically black university). "The Passion of Octavius Catto" documents his life-long activism which was cut short by his murder during the 1871 Election Day violence perpetrated against African-American Philadelphians as they attempted to exercise their right to vote - won two years earlier with the passage of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution.
André Raphel states about the recording, "The Passion of Octavius Catto is a piece of music unlike anything I have ever conducted given its historical significance. Uri's work fuses together different musical styles and does it in the framework of telling Catto's story. The piece made an incredible impression when we performed it live. With the feeling of excitement created by the premiere, it seemed important to find a way to share it worldwide. Catto wasn't just an important figure in Philadelphia history; he was forgotten figure in U.S. history. It is history that needs to live, and one way it lives is through this new recording."
Uri Caine first encountered Octavius Catto's story when he read the book "Tasting Freedom." He says, "With the political climate today it is important to keep reiterating the fact that "All Men Are Created Equal." This attempt to divide is not what our country is about. As a musician I've seen a way through music to express that feeling and that wish for people to connect and say no and to resist to these types of appeals of hatred, division, stereotyping and racism."
"The Passion of Octavius Catto" was commissioned by the Mann Music Center and the Pew Center for the Arts. It had its world premiere under the baton of André Raphel at the Mann Center in 2014 leading the Philadelphia Orchestra; Barbara Walker, vocalist; the Uri Caine Trio; and a Philadelphia community gospel choir.
André Raphel makes his subscription series debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, March 19 - 21, 2020, leading Uri Caine's "The Passion of Octavius Catto," along with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Petite Suite de Concert and William Grant Still's Symphony No. 1, Afro-American. The March 20th concert is part of the BSO's Casual Friday Series.
Uri Caine - "The Passion of Octavius Catto" Conducted by André Raphel
Release Date: August 30, 2019 -- Available via iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby and UriCaine.com