Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jay Ungar, New American Brass Band, Old Bethpage Brass Band|
The Civil War - Traditional American Songs And Instrumental Music Featured In The Film By Ken Burns: Original Soundtrack Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
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Period music, Ashokan Farewell add power to PBS epic....
Alex Diaz-Granados | Miami, FL United States | 12/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I watched The Civil War, Ken Burns' epic documentary, on PBS 13 years ago, I was not only moved by the mix of period paintings, photographs, voiceovers by great actors and David McCullough's wonderful narration, but I was captivated by the music in the soundtrack. From the poignant "Ashokan Farewell" (the signature theme of the film) to a beautiful choral presentation of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," the songs and military marches from the period added their powerful emotional content to an already engrossing television event.The Civil War: Traditional American Songs and Instrumental Music Featured in the Film By Ken Burns is a treasure trove of musical gold. Its 28 tracks contain almost a full hour of military marches ("Parade," "Bonnie Blue Flag," "Palmyra Scottische"), sentimental songs ("Lorena," "Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier") and patriotic songs ("Dixie," "The Battle Cry of Freedom") that were popular in both North and South in the 1860s.Of course, the track most listeners associate with both the documentary is the haunting "Ashokan Farewell," composed by Jay Ungar and performed by Ungar with Evan Stover, Matt Glaser, Molly Mason and Russ Barenger. It is a beautiful modern folk composition (originally heard in Fiddle Fever's "Waltz of the Wind" album) that reflects the tragic split between North and South that resulted in America's ugliest and bloodiest war. It is presented twice on this album, first in its entirety (track 3) and closes the CD along with a reading of Sullivan Ballou's last letter to his wife shortly before his death at the first battle of Bull Run.What strikes me after all these years is the creativity and care taken by the producers to make this a worthwhile listening experience. While some of the marches and patriotic songs are played by bands with brass and percussion instruments, others are played to great effect by unexpected instruments. "The Battle Cry of Freedom," one of the great marching songs in the Northern repertoire and normally performed bombastically by bands or choruses, is played here by pianist Jacqueline Schwab with delicate sensibility and simplicity. In a similar vein, "Marching Through Georgia" is heard as both a triumphant fiddle romp performed by Fiddle Fever to underscore the mood of Sherman's army, then it is a lament played mournfully by pianist Schwab to reflect the feelings of loss and defeat by Georgians caught in the path of the "March to the Sea." It is a devastatingly effective use of music, and it draws the listener's ears, heart and mind into the drama and tragedy of the Civil War era."
A splendid example of Civil War music.
Simon Jackson | 08/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While visiting relatives in Virginia and spending a moving day on the battle field of First Manassas (or Bull Run if you prefer) my interest in the Civil War was well and truly sparked. I had heard so much about the film of the war by Ken Burns that when it became available in England (only in late 1999) I bought it on video. Purchasing this CD was the next step. Ken Burns himself suggests that "Music, songs are a kind of glue that holds our history together and binds the present with the past to form out most important memories." This recording does exactly that, it enables the listener to gain an insight into the musical sounds of the war and by doing so to understand at a deeper level the motivations behind it. There is a wide representation of styles from the spiritual to the march from simple acoustic guitar to the lamenting fiddle. For most people who know the Burns film `Ashokan Farewell' quite rightly stands out. The music is beautiful in itself but when it is combined, as it is on this CD, with a letter sent home a week before his death at First Manassas by Major Sullivan Ballou, it becomes quite the most moving piece of music and narrative I have ever heard.I bought this CD along with `Songs of the Civil War' (co-produced by Ken Burns) and both are splendid examples of Civil War music, I recommend both to you."
Almost Lost "Hits"
A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com | Glen Ellyn, IL USA | 10/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a fair chance this CD's sales will spike every time PBS shows Ken Burn's film.Why? It is great music, most of which can only be heard on indie internet radio folk and bluegrass stations. Maybe you can hear a cut or two on your community college public radio station, or played a more sophisticated DJ.But, thanks to Burns, the TV-watching world is exposed to "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder" and classics like, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." You might know some of these tunes from way back when, but more than likely, they are new.I've thoroughly enjoyed this music, and found Burn's presentation of it in his mini-series documentary well done.I fully recommend "The Civil War." Billboard hits long before there was Billboard.Anthony Trendl"