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  • America Sings Vol.1 - The Founding Years (1620-1800)
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America Sings Vol.1 - The Founding Years (1620-1800)


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Audio CD, April 16, 1995
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$49.94 $2.12

Product Details

  • Performer: Gregg Smith Singers
  • Composer: John Antes, Daniel Belknap, William Billings, Oliver Brownson, Jeremiah Dencke, et al.
  • Audio CD (April 16, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vox (Classical)
  • ASIN: B000001K3P
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,118 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 100
2. Ainsworth Psalms: No 25
3. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 1
4. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 111
5. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 97
6. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 55
7. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 34
8. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 13
9. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 27
10. Ainsworth Psalms: No. 18
See all 35 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Introduction: Standish, Isle Of Wight, & 100 Psalm Tune New
2. Grounds And Rules: Southwell New, Windsor, Litchfield, Psalm 148
3. Urania: Standish, Isle Of Wight, 100 Psalm Tune New
4. Cambridge Tune & Southwell Tune
5. Urania: The Lord Descended From Above
6. Urania: 19th Psalm
7. O, Be Glad, Ye Daughters Of His People
8. God Was In Jesus
9. I Will Make An Everlasting Covenant
10. I Will Freely Sacrifice To Thee
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George Peabody VINE VOICE on February 11, 2010
SUPERB SINGING THAT ENABLES THE LISTENER TO HEAR THIS MUSIC OF THE EARLY AMERICAN COMPOSERS AT ITS BEST!
It is very important that the potential listener understand that firstly this is Volume One in the American Series (Seven volulmes) that deals with the COMPOSERS of The Founding Years. The emphasis is not on the singers producing the sounds. Seondly, as the years moved on in the development of the singing sound it became more pleasant and less 'authentic'. But, frankly ,when I purchase a historically oriented recording such as this one for my own personal listening pleasure, I don't want to hear the rough 'chesty' singing of the folksy kind, for lack of a better word. However, if I am teaching an early American music history course, I certainly would want the less 'refined ' sound. But, to each his own. This 2 CD package has excellent liner notes that go into much detail about the song material, its history and the composers involved; one has only to read it!

This volume of American vocal music is the first of a series that presents the rich heritage of American vocal music from the time of the first European settlements in the early seventeenth century to the present. Although instrumental music has dominated the American classical music scene through most of our century, it is vocal music that dominates the total historical picture of American music.

In choosing the literature for this first set Gregg Smith has tried to cover as broad a chronological range as possible. A great deal of emphasis is on New England. That is not only because of the concentration of population and activity in the area, but because researh efforts in other parts of the country have been considerably limited to date.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Porter on December 10, 2007
Wow, okay, to be fair, I haven't listened to every track on this album. But that is because I had to turn it off - I couldn't take much more.

Simply, this is just the wrong kind of music to be sung by "classical" voices. As a rule, it sounds terrible, unnatural and disingenuous. They have lovely voices, but they need to stick to true "choral" arrangements, which these are not. Their voices are too trained; too much technique is involved and as a result, the power of this raw music is lost. There have been numerous re-vampings of shapenote and early-American psalms which have been masterful, from choral/baroque styles to punk/rock/pop. This is not one of them.

Frankly, anyone putting together an early-american/shapenote album should know better than to try to class-up this music. It makes me think that they simply just don't know the material, history and tradition. Or worse yet, they do know it but feel in order to give the music true value they needed to repackage it for a more delicate ear. The most pardonable reason would be that it was an experiment which simply went bad.

Whatever the case may be, this album just doesn't work.
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