Civil War CD (1990)

Artist: Soundtrack

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Product Overview


Label Wea/atlantic/nonesuch
SKU 60266785
UPC 075597925623
UPC 14 00075597925623
Format CD
Release Date 12/4/1990
Author Soundtrack
Associated Artist/Work California Dreams
Associated Artist/Work Original Soundtrack
Technical Info
Engineer Don Wershba; Michael Golub; Paul Goodman; Scott Hull; Billy Shaw
Producer Fiddle Fever; Julie Dunfey; Jay Ungar; John Colby; Ken Burns; Toshi Reagon; Bernice Johnson Reagon; BobbY Horton
CatalogID 79256
Lable Name Nonesuch (USA)
Released 12/04/1990
Original Release 1990
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 48m : 47s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00075597925623
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Bernice Johnson Reagon (vocals); Jay Ungar (guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Molly Mason, Russ Barenberg, Bobby Horton (guitar); Peter Amidon (banjo); Peggy James, Evan Stover, Matt Glaser (fiddle); John Levy (cello); Yonatin Malin (flute); Jesse Carr (recorder); Art Baron (euphonium); Jacqueline Schwab, John Colby (piano).
Liner Note Author: Ken Burns.
Recording information: 1984-1990.
Directors: Robert Sheldon; Kirby Jolly; Dr. Jewel T. Thompson.
Editors: Ed Barteski; Phoebe Yantsios; Tricia Reidy; Paul Barnes; Meredith Woods.
Photographers: Franklyn Fulton; Robert Rhodes.
Unknown Contributor Roles: John Colby; Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir.
Elektra/Nonesuch scored one of the biggest successes of the classical specialty label's history with this soundtrack to the Ken Burns public television series The Civil War. More a multi-artist compilation than an actual "soundtrack" in the formal sense, the album is filled with low-key highlights from the series -- Jay Ungar's "Ashokan Farewell" is the most familiar of the material that was new to most listeners, but it was surrounded by fare such as "Battle Cry of Freedom," "Bonnie Blue Flag," "Dixie," "Hail Columbia," and "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which will certainly be known, at least by memory, to anyone who attended school in the United States before 1967 or so. There's also some representation of spirituals, most notably "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder." There are some full-band performances here ("Yankee Doodle," "Parade") and a few tunes featured in more than one incarnation (most notably "Marching Through Georgia"), but the overall thrust of this soundtrack is toward the small-scale and intimate in terms of sound and arrangements -- it's a far cry from the mostly upbeat Civil War song compilations that appeared in the late '50s and the start of the 1960s, in the run up to the war's centenary. Less is more seems to have been the operating theory behind the music, which makes it more enduring as a listening experience -- subtlety being a hallmark of the music -- and a strong tug on the conscience and the intellect. And the final track, "Ashokan Farewell/Sullivan Ballou Letter," the latter read by Paul Roebling, can bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened listener. ~ Bruce Eder
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (4/4/91) - Regarding the track `Ashokan Farewell' "...a quintessentially American lament...has all the bittersweet tragedy and uplift contained in the Civil speaks directly to the heart."
Entertainment Weekly (1/21/91) - A "`Ashokan Farewell' is tender, haunting, and filled with delicate melodic twists...a tune of such runaway gorgeousness."
Time Magazine (2/4/91) - "The haunting tune `Ashokan Farewell'...was inspired by 19th century Scottish laments...there is a fair chance that this composition may become somethig of a classic."
Disc 1
1 Drums Of War
2 Oliver Wendell Holmes - Paul Roebling
3 Ashokan Farewell - Evan Stover/Jay Ungar/Matt Glaser/Molly Mason/Russ Barenberg
4 Battle Cry of Freedom - Jacqueline Schwab
5 We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder - Bernice Johnson Reagon
6 Dixie/Bonnie Blue Flag - New American Brass Band
7 Cheer Boys Cheer - New American Brass Band
8 Angel Band - Molly Mason/Russ Barenberg
9 Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier - Jesse Carr/Jacqueline Schwab
10 Lorena - Jay Ungar/Matt Glaser/Molly Mason
11 Parade - New American Brass Band
12 Hail Columbia - New American Brass Band
13 Dixie - Bobby Horton
14 Kingdom Coming - Jay Ungar/Matt Glaser/Art Baron
15 Battle Hymn of the Republic - Jacqueline Schwab/Matt Glaser
16 All Quiet on the Potomac - Jacqueline Schwab
17 Flag of Columbia - Jacqueline Schwab
18 Weeping, Sad and Lonely - Peggy James/Jesse Carr/Jacqueline Schwab
19 Yankee Doodle - Old Bethpage Brass Band
20 Palmyra Schottische - New American Brass Band
21 When Johnny Comes Marching Home - Old Bethpage Brass Band
22 Shenandoah - John Colby/John Levy
23 When Johnny Comes Marching Home - Yonatin Malin/Peter Amidon/Jacqueline Schwab/Jay Ungar/Matt Glaser/Molly Mason
24 Marching Through Georgia - Peter Amidon/Jay Ungar/Matt Glaser/Molly Mason
25 Marching Through Georgia (Lament) - Jacqueline Schwab
26 Battle Cry of Freedom - Jacqueline Schwab
27 Battle Hymn of the Republic - Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir
28 Ashokan Farewell/Sullivan Ballou Letter - Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir

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