Appalachian Sketches

Appalachian Sketches

by Mark O'Connor


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Appalachian Sketches

This delightful collection of traditional Appalachian hymns, sung by the Massachusetts-based choir Gloriæ Dei Cantores under the direction of Elizabeth C. Patterson, is more than just one more rehashing of familiar hymn tunes and spirituals. While it does include such favorite religious songs as "Foundation" (aka "How Firm a Foundation"), "Bright Canaan," and "Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal," the program also -- strangely and somewhat distractingly -- features a rather maudlin Civil War love song entitled "Lorena." The album's other unusual feature is a beautiful and moving composition by renowned fiddler Mark O'Connor, who responded to a commission from the choir by setting the words to Charles Wesley's hymn "Let Us Move" to a new melody of his own, and providing a violin obbligato. O'Connor's composition is one of the many highlights on this album, most of the rest of which are the more traditional renditions of the more traditional songs. "Lorena" is not only out of place stylistically and thematically, but is also somewhat overwrought in its arrangement and vocal delivery, and it's difficult to hear the choir's over-arranged version of "Angel Band" without wishing you were listening to Ralph Stanley's version instead. But the simple power of "Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal" and "Bright Canaan" has never been communicated more movingly than it is here. Recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/07/2001
Label: Paraclete Press
UPC: 0709887003127
catalogNumber: 3348

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mark O'Connor   Primary Artist,Violin
Gloriae Dei Cantores   Choir, Chorus
Elizabeth C. Patterson   Conductor
Timothy McKendree   Violin
Br. Francis Hempel   Baritone (Vocal)
Richard Cragg   Tenor (Vocal)
William Riley   Guitar
Kathryn Shannon   Soprano (Vocal)
Mary Magdalene Buddington   Harp

Technical Credits

Mark O'Connor   Liner Notes
Isaac Watts   Lyricist
Charles Wesley   Lyricist
Richard Pugsley   Producer
Alice Parker   Arranger
Joseph Chilorio   Engineer
Henry DeLafayette Webster   Composer
Joseph Philbrick Webster   Composer
Thomas Hart Benton   Cover Art
Michael Hale   Arranger
Michael Lutch   Cover Photo
Richard K. Pugsley   Producer
Robert Robinson   Lyricist
G. Schirmer   Composer
David Chalmers   Liner Notes
Joseph Swain   Composer,Lyricist

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