Renowned baritone Willard White, joined Carl Davis and the BBC Concert Orchestra in a series of concerts (and a recording) recently.
Two “Portrait of Willard W White” evenings at the Salisbury Festival (4 June) and in London’s Royal Festival Hall (7 June) formed the highpoints. The programme included a new 3-minute spiritual, arranged by Davis for White entitled This Little Light. It accompanied two of the earlier Three Spirituals Davis prepared for White ('Deep River' and 'Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel'), and which they previously recorded on an RLPO Live disc.
Elsewhere in the programme, White sang a selection of Copland’s American folksong settings, hits from shows and musicals (including 'Ol’ Man River'), several numbers reflecting his Jamaican roots and took on the role of narrator in Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.
A new Sony disc of the repertoire is being recorded at this time.