Friday, September 30, 2011

Rose of Sharon: 100 Years of American Music, 1770-1870

"The little Shaker song 'Simple Gifts,' by Joseph Brackett, comes with performance instructions built in. And when Joel Frederiksen and the Ensemble Phoenix Munich sing, '’Tis the gift to be simple,' they clearly believe it. ... [T]he disc from the Munich-based Ensemble Phoenix, directed by the American abroad Mr. Frederiksen[, is] a widely varied collection of musical Americana rendered with consistent beauty and restraint. Mr. Frederiksen sets a soulful tone at the start with a solo rendering of the Shaker spiritual 'Lay Me Low' and later adds the sober ballads 'The Death of General Wolfe' and 'Captain Kidd.' Three numbers by the great New England hymnist William Billings include the classic song that gives the album its title, 'I Am the Rose of Sharon.' A Civil War segment looks southward with the instrumental ditty 'Dixie's Land' and the song 'Maryland, My Maryland.' ... This one is to treasure, from beginning to end. " (James R. Oestreich, "Complex Pleasures Rooted in Love, Delight and Song," New York Times, 7/28/11).
View catalog record here!


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