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American Angels: Songs of Hope, Redemption, & Glory
     

American Angels: Songs of Hope, Redemption, & Glory

by Anonymous 4
 
The members of the seraphic-voiced female vocal quartet Anonymous 4 have ventured into the depths of the Dark Ages (1000: A Mass for the End of Time) and visited with modern mystics (Darkness into Light), but this may be their most unexpected and rewarding journey yet.

Overview

The members of the seraphic-voiced female vocal quartet Anonymous 4 have ventured into the depths of the Dark Ages (1000: A Mass for the End of Time) and visited with modern mystics (Darkness into Light), but this may be their most unexpected and rewarding journey yet. Carefully researched, as are all of their recording projects, American Angels: Songs of Hope, Redemption, and Glory takes listeners to the roots of the Anglo-American tradition. Here are sacred songs from revolutionary New England, so-called "shape-note" songs from the South (named for the style of musical notation employed), and others that have become part of the rich gospel repertory. Many of these tunes will be familiar, of course; "Jewett," for example, is a version of "Amazing Grace," as is "New Britain," though the two are distinct and probably unlike any form of this familiar hymn that you've heard before. Indeed, there's a purity to all of these harmonizations that evokes visions of a primordial, virginal America. Certainly, it's difficult to imagine that any congregation ever sounded so chastely beautiful as Anonymous 4, though the women make sure to add authentic touches. Listen, for example, to their tender twang on "Resignation," or the folksy swing in the arrangement of "Sweet Prospect." "Angel Band," the final track, doesn't sound all that far removed from the earthy righteousness of the Stanley Brothers' classic rendition -- and what higher praise can one give? As with all of the ensemble's Harmonia Mundi recordings, this one is beautifully recorded and packaged, with texts and extensive notes on the songs and their origins. Scholarship has rarely sounded so sweet.

Editorial Reviews

Billboard
A stunning gift of old-time Americana.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
Label:
Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC:
0093046732622
catalogNumber:
907326
Rank:
61991

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Anonymous 4   Primary Artist,Vocals,Vocal Ensemble
Marsha Genensky   Vocals
Johanna Rose   Vocals
Jacqueline Horner   Vocals,Soloist

Technical Credits

John Newton   Text
Isaac Watts   Text
Marsha Genensky   Liner Notes
Robina G. Young   Producer
Robert Lowry   Text
Charles Wesley   Text
Samuel Stennett   Text
Heidi Fritz   Liner Note Translation
Elsa Beaulieu   Liner Note Translation
Irene Preston Miller   Cover Art
Brad Michael   Engineer
W.W. Walford   Text
George Atkin   Text
Benjamin Beddome   Text
John Leland   Text
John Blain   Text
Jefferson Haskell   Text
Hudson River Quilters   Cover Art
F.R. Warren   Text
S. Fillmore Bennett   Text
Matt Hoebermann   Cover Photo

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