Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Word of Mouth Chorus|
Rivers of Delight / Folk Hymns
Genres: Folk, Classical
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David A. Beamer | Clawson, MI United States | 07/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Word of Mouth Chorus, from Vermont, started out as a "normal" choir, doing standard church choir repertoire. They started singing "shape-note" music shortly after their founding, but the performances sounded like a normal church choir. A few years later, some of the choir members were inroduced to the "real McCoy" at a singing convention in Georgia. The "performance practice", for lack of a better term, of the folks in Georgia had a profound effect on them. The result was that they completely rethought and relearned how to perform this music. They don't sound like a normal church choir here; they sound raucous and untutored, with loud nasal voices sticking out of a group of other loud, raucous voices. The effect is exhilerating; the drive and energy are like nothing you've ever heard. Other recordings of the shape note music of the Sacred Harp tradition of the American South take the brash rough edges off the tone. Not here -- you get the real deal; raw, edgy, unabashed, and a lot of fun."
Lovely and Haunting
Deborah Adenan | 01/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Words cannot explain the power of this recording. There is something beautiful about shapenote singing, yet it is also a little eerie and unsettling in its deliberate atonality. If you look at the tombstones in any historic cemetery and see how lovely the old carvings are on them - how they are works of art in themselves - you will appreciate that there can be beauty in the most simple of earthly things. That, to me, defines shapenote singing - it is beautiful like old tombstones are beautiful. However talented the singers, shapenote singing should never lose touch with its earthiness. It should be heavenly and yet tied to mortality. The Word of Mouth Chorus are wonderfully talented and polished, yet they sing with an emotionality and spirit that sets this recording apart from so many others. I have several shape note CDs in my collection. All of the others are either too professional, belying shapenote's roots, or too rustic. If you only buy one CD of shapenote music, it should be this one. To this day, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck every time I hear "Windham" - and that is how it should be."
A good balance
Richard Hershberger | Maryland | 05/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recordings of sacred harp music tend toward being either field recordings with poor production standards or over-civilized, lifeless professional performances. This classic recording strikes the right balance. It serves particularly well as an introduction to the genre. It is a fine addition to any music collection, whether or not there is any other sacred harp included."