Keith Pettway/Lois Hobbs | Mississippi Classic

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Mississippi Classic

by Keith Pettway/Lois Hobbs

Classical flute music in a variety of styles by (yes, really) Mississippi composers--including William Grant Still, Zaninelli, Presser, and more.
Genre: Classical: Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Summerland, William Grant Still
0:00 album only
2. Quit Dat Fool'nish, William Grant Still
0:00 album only
3. Mother and Child, William Grant Still
0:00 album only
4. Gamin, William Grant Still
0:00 album only
5. Here's One, William Grant Still
0:00 album only
6. Bayou Home, William Grant Still
0:00 album only
7. Sonatina, William Presser, 1. Allegretto
0:00 album only
8. 2. Adagio
0:00 album only
9. 3. Vivace
0:00 album only
10. Tre Impressioni, Luigi Zaninelli, 1. Cantabile
0:00 album only
11. 2. Soave
0:00 album only
12. 3. Scherzetto
0:00 album only
13. A Day in the Delta, Andrew Fox, Papa's Mule
0:00 album only
14. Last Watz
0:00 album only
15. Romanze, David Caudill
0:00 album only
16. Mockingbird Variations, Keith Pettway
0:00 album only


Album Notes


Program Notes from the Recording:

William Grant Still (1895 –1978)

William Grant Still was born in Woodville, Mississippi. Both of his parents had a college education and were teachers. Having both parents with college degrees was quite rare during this era, but the fact that the family was black makes this truly remarkable. (Still's paternal grandmother was a Chactaw Indian.) Still's father died when he was only three months old. Even though his mother moved to Little Rock, Arkansas soon after her husband's death, the composer's heritage is deeply embedded in Mississippi soil.

Still's musical style mixes popular, folk, and jazz in a “classical” idiom. His music shares some characteristics with that of George Gershwin. Both composers were in Los Angeles writing music for the movie studios during the same era.


“Summerland” is a lovely piece initially written for solo piano. It was a section of “Three Visions for Piano”. Still transcribed it for violin and piano, then later for flute and piano as heard on this recording.

“Quit dat Fool'nish”

This is Still's only work which was originally written for flute and piano. The composer called it a “humoresque.” It carries a dedication to “Shep” (the family's dog).

“Here's One”, “Bayou Home”

Both of these pieces were first composed for voice and piano. “Here's One” can be found in a number of settings by the composer. The version of these works heard on this recording are transcriptions by flutist Alexa Still (no relation to the composer).

From: Suite for Violin and Piano
Movement II (Slowly) Suggested by Sargent Johnson's “Mother and Child”
Movement III (Rhythmically and humorously) Suggested by Augusta Savage's “Gamin”

These movements were both inspired by the artwork of Afro-American artists. “Mother and Child” is a painting in semi-primitive style of an Afro-American mother holding her young child in her lap. “Gamin” is a sculpture of a black man in a uniform with his hat at a jaunty angle and a big smile on his face.

“Sonatina”: William Presser

William Presser has been a Mississippi resident since 1953 when he came to the state to teach composition at the University of Southern Mississippi. He remained there until his retirement and is a still a resident of Hattiesburg. Dr. Presser is a prolific composer; approximately 100 of his works have been published. This sonatina for flute and piano was written in May, 1980.

“Tre Impressioni”: Luigi Zaninelli

Luigi Zaninelli has been composer in residence at the University of Southern Mississippi since 1972. He is an established composer with over 300 published works. Mr. Zaninelli has written a number of pieces for flutist James Pellerite and Tre Impressioni was written for him in 1995. Mr. Pellerite had become quite interested in the native American flute and this work was written for that instrument.
These short pieces have been described as “enchantingly simple melodic lines with a pure pentatonic flavor, imaginatively combined with chromatic tertian harmony.” On this recording they are performed on the standard Böhm flute.

Andrew Fox: from A Day in the Delta
“Papa's Mule”
“The Last Waltz”

Andrew Fox has recently retired from the faculty of the University of Mississippi where he taught music theory and composition for many years. A Day in the Delta was first written for flute and Commodore 64 computer. Since the Commodore 64 has been obsolete for many years, this piece was left unplayable in its original form. Fortunately the music was written out in traditional musical notation. The two movements recorded here are performed on flute and piano.

David Caudill: “Romanza”

David Caudill is on the faculty of Delta State University where he teaches music theory and composition, music history, and voice. Dr. Caudill's numerous compositions range from songs, to works for wind ensemble with chorus. His latest work is a Christmas opera, The Shepherd's Story. “Romanza” was written for Keith Pettway in 1991.

Keith Pettway: Mockingbird Variations:
Variations on an Old Song by Septimus Winner

This piece was a direct result of this recording project.The fact that the Mockingbird is the state bird of Mississippi seemed to make such a composition very appropriate.The variations are a parody of the bravura variations of the 19th century, the era of the original song.The funeral march variation is appropriate because even though the melody sounds rather happy, the words are quite sad.The song is about a young woman who died in winter and in the spring the “mockingbird is singing o'er her grave.” There are quotes from well-known classical works scattered throughout the piece.



to write a review

Tam Knox

I'm not a flute expert, but this CD is really fun and delicious to listen to. It has a general "lightness" about it, and, what can I say? It's pleasing to the ear and just generally very nice.

Nancy Buckman

Easy listening at its best for contemporary music!
Having shared dinner twice with the solist as members of a flute mail list, it was wonderful to share again in his music. The pairing of Pettway and Hobbs is akin to salt and pepper, a perfect blend. A really enchanting disc!

Shelley Collins

Supurb artistry, exquisite phrasing--a stunning recording
Pettway demonstrates exquisitve phrasing and thoughtful musical interpretation in a variety of styles. His performance of William Grant Still's "Gamin" is delightful, and Pettway's "Mockingbird Variations" are whimsical and charming. This is a beautiful CD that you will enjoy time and again.

Reviewed by Shelley Collins, Director of Flute Studies, Seattle Pacific University

Jessica Walsh

Mississippi Magic! Wonderful music, compelling mood, and really lovely playing.
I remember hearing this CD for the first time; I was drawn in right away.
To me this is intimate music which speaks to the soul, and Keith Pettway can really tell a story with his playing.
I love this recording more every time I play it.
Now I'm waiting for Pettway and Hobbs to do it again!

Jessica Walsh