Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen  Foster, John van Buskirk, Julianne Baird|
Stephen Foster Songs
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
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Well-rounded and convincing
gaios33 | Berkeley, CA | 10/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent rendition of Stephen Foster's songs, capitalizing on the duality inherent in the repertoire: the beautiful parlor ballads and the rowdy folk-inspired tunes. Especially remarkable is the fact that the performers bring to the music the "early music" sensibility (Julianne Baird is renowned as a performer of Elizabethan lutesongs)--this sensibility urges the performers to be as historically accurate as possible, performing on original/reproduction instruments. Also of note is the fact that it is a collaboration between classical and folk musicians: soprano, alto, tenor, fortepiano, fiddle, mountain and hammered dulcimers, harmonica, recorder, and accordian. Linda Russell (alto, mountain dulcimer) is lyrical and moving with her "folkie" voice, perfectly complementing the other "cultivated" voices and grounding them on the occasions they come together in poignant harmony.I only wish that they had incorporated a 19th c. parlor guitar to round out the ballads. Overall, however, one can well imagine that this is indeed the way the music sounded. As one of America's first "popular song" writers, the present performers succeed in doing him justice by incorporating many styles of 19th c. popular musics, avoiding the anachronistic "bluegrass" sound often used in performances of this repertoire, and never succumbing to waves of overly self-indulgent nostalgia."
Amid fine work, a new star!
H. L. Clark | Broad Run, VA USA | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Baird, Russell and Van Buskirk give fine performances in a splendid
program, but tenor Frederick Urrey [his Foster recording debut?] is a sensation! A glorious voice, with a perfect command of style in
operatic, ballad, ensemble and even comic scenes, his Melinda May is breathtaking, his Beautiful Dreamer is the best on records, his
duets charm and his drunken husband is a gas! He has it all!! In my 25 years of total immersion in Foster and his era, I have never
even dreamt of hearing an artist of such stature. Foster was said to have a fine voice and to sing his music better than any other.
I pray we now hear more of SF's songs as he must have sung them!"
Stephen Foster Would Be Proud
K. Giorlando | Eastpointe, Michigan United States | 02/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Linda Russell is a remarkable woman. I have every CD she has done and I've never been disappointed in the high quality recordings she releases. I consider her every bit of an historian as the authors of history books.
This collection of Stephen Foster tunes, one of two that Russell has partaken in, is a rousing collection of the musical sounds of the mid-19th century. Soprano Julianne Baird and tenor Frederick Urrey join in with Ms. Russell's alto vocals to make a truly remarkable ensemble (including the musicians playing the mountain dulcimer, fortepiano, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, recorder, and accordion - all on authentic antique instruments). All combined show off the genius that Stephen Foster was - the 19th century's top songwriter who wrote music for ALL time, not just his time.
But if it wasn't for the musical reenactors (on CD at least) of Russell and company many of these long lost gems might have stayed hidden, sadly unheard. Some choral music, a feel of opera, a bit of traditional folk all mixed together to make what I feel is an authentic piece of musical history.
Here's hoping that Linda Russell and friends continue in the making of traditional music - Christmas and popular.
Ms. Russell, do you ever tour? We'd love to see you here in Michigan!"