1 800 222 6872

1865 - Songs of Hope and Home from the American Civil War / Bruce Molsky, fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocals; Anonymous 4

Album Summary

>Tucker, Henry : Weeping Sad and Lonely
>Hanby, Benjamin Russell : Darling Nelly Gray
>Foster, Stephen : Hard times come again no more
>Anonymous : Sweet Evelina
>Traditional : Bright Sunny South
>Traditional : Work(s)
>Kittredge, Walter : Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
>Poulton, George R. : Aura Lee
>Hawthorne, Alice : Listen to the Mocking Bird, for voice & piano
>Traditional : Camp Chase
>Traditional, American : Brother Greene, song
>McNaughton, John Hugh : The Faded Coat of Blue
>Traditional : The Maiden in the Garden
>Anonymous : The True lover's farewell
>Bishop, Henry Rowley : Work(s)
>Work, Henry Clay : The Picture on the Wall
>Monk, William Henry : Abide with me
>Lowry, Robert : Shall we gather at the river?
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Anonymous 4 and special guest Bruce Molsky commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War with songs that were in the air in the year 1865. It includes ballads and choruses originally intended for the stage and the parlor, as well as songs and instrumental tunes from the hills and back roads of America. They portray the highly emotional, personal stories of soldiers, widows and others who lived through one of the bloodiest wars in American history.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2015
It's a superbly put together sequence...Some of the tunes are very familiar, but gain an extra poignancy in this album's programme by the cumulative impact of juxtaposition, and the dignified humility of Anonymous 4's interpretations...Altogether this is a moving disc, immaculately documented and presented.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
The Anonymous 4 is well known for their many albums of medieval chant and polyphony. The four womens' voices blend exquisitely and their recordings have been lavishly praised by critics. When this disc of Civil War era songs came into the ARG office, I lunged for it. As one heavily involved with the contra dance community in Ohio, as well as vintage ballroom and shape-note singing groups, I know and love all the music recorded here. Those traditions are all still very much alive in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area, and barely a week passes that I don't hear or dance to something from the Civil War period. The booklet includes a brief but good essay about the importance of popular song during the war - many songs were "big hits" on both sides. All the lyrics are printed in three languages, and the booklet is illustrated with excellent artwork and photographs from the time. I'm going to look for more performances by Bruce Molsky. He is terrific!

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concert Hall, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey (06/2014).

American vocal group Anonymous 4 were founded to explore medieval music and have worked mostly within repertory of that time period. But their field of endeavor has broadened in a fan shape as their career has developed, including contemporary works and, toward the end of their career, a focus on the music of their native country. The present album forms the material for their last tour. Released in early 2015, it commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. The program consists of music that was "in the air" in 1865, although not necessarily composed or published then; the songs date back as far as 1823 in the case of "Home, Sweet Home," a seemingly quintessentially American song that actually comes from a British opera. Some deal with the war itself, but, as is usual in wartime music, not all do. Civil War songs constitute an amazing example of creative efflorescence in response to crisis, but to put them across convincingly today is not an easy task, with pale academic art-song performances among the few available. Contemporary bluegrass musicians seem to do best with them, and Anonymous 4 move in that direction here with the inclusion of accompaniment (on vocals, banjo, guitar, and fiddle) by bluegrass musician Bruce Molsky. This enables the group to present a variety of related settings, from a cappella to different instrumental-vocal combinations; there's no attempt at an "authentic" sound, but the scale is right. Reactions to these performances are likely to be quite individual. Those who enjoy Anonymous 4's vocal sounds will likely be intrigued to hear them in this new light, and Molsky's low-key but versatile accompaniment works well. Others may find these readings bloodless, in music that depended on direct emotional impact and in many cases on an abundance of sentiment, the bedrock of American musical expression. Anonymous 4, in any case, deserve credit for continuing to break new ground even as they prepare to close up shop. ~ James Manheim



Reviews

There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review
 

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Tucker, Henry : Weeping Sad and Lonely
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 5 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Hanby, Benjamin Russell : Darling Nelly Gray
  • Performers: Marsha Genensky (Voice); Jacqueline Horner (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Banjo); Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 5 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 18th Century

>Foster, Stephen : Hard times come again no more
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 4 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1854

>Anonymous : Sweet Evelina
  • Performers: Ruth Cunningham (Voice); Susan Hellauer (Voice)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.

>Traditional : Bright Sunny South
  • Performers: Bruce Molsky (Banjo); Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Traditional : Work(s) :: The southern soldier boy / Rebel raid
  • Performers: Ruth Cunningham (Voice); Susan Hellauer (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 47 sec.

>Kittredge, Walter : Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 4 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal

>Poulton, George R. : Aura Lee
  • Performers: Jacqueline Horner (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Fiddle); Bruce Molsky (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Hawthorne, Alice : Listen to the Mocking Bird, for voice & piano
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Banjo)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 3 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1854

>Traditional : Camp Chase
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Traditional, American : Brother Greene, song
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.

>McNaughton, John Hugh : The Faded Coat of Blue
  • Performers: Marsha Genensky (Voice); Susan Hellauer (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Guitar)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 3 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Traditional : The Maiden in the Garden
  • Performers: Ruth Cunningham (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Anonymous : The True lover's farewell
  • Performers: Marsha Genensky (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.

>Bishop, Henry Rowley : Work(s) :: Home, sweet home / Polly put the kettle on
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Banjo)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Work, Henry Clay : The Picture on the Wall
  • Performers: Susan Hellauer (Voice); Bruce Molsky (Fiddle); Bruce Molsky (Guitar)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Monk, William Henry : Abide with me :: Eventide)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 3 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1861

>Lowry, Robert : Shall we gather at the river?
  • Performer: Bruce Molsky (Fiddle)
  • Ensemble: Anonymous 4
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic