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Lost Music of Early America: Music of Moravians

Martin Pearlman , Boston Baroque , Cyndia Sieden , Sharon Baker Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Price: $11.52 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: Cyndia Sieden, Sharon Baker
  • Orchestra: Boston Baroque
  • Conductor: Martin Pearlman
  • Audio CD (September 29, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00000C2HQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,460 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Hymn: Freuen Wir Uns
2. Der Herr Ist Mein Theil
3. Meine Seele Erhebet Den Herrn
4. Es Ist Ein Kostlich Ding
5. Hymn: Join We All With One Accord
6. Hail Infant Newborn
7. Loveliest Immanuel
8. Ich Will Euch Wie Ein Thau Seyn
9. Thou Child Divine
10. Hymn: Zeige Mir Dein Angesicht
See all 32 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Martin Pearlman Discusses Music Of The Moravians

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When the subject of 18th-century music comes up, the United States is rarely considered any sort of creative artistic bastion. But this collection of Moravian religious music reveals how deep a fallacy it is to write off the U.S. as unimportant in vocal music history. The Moravian Church, founded on the cusp of the 14th and 15th centuries, would generate a distinctly musical worship tradition in the 1700s, just prior to the first Moravians settling in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Once in Pennsylvania, the music flowed at a brisk pace, comprising significant sections of worship ceremonies. Composers included in this collection reflect two particular facets of the music: its harmonic simplicity and its abiding spiritual values. Of course, "simplicity" is an easily derogatory descriptive, but that is not at all the case here. These choral works display tremendous richness and depth, with traces of J.S. Bach's cantatas as well as works by Haydn and even Mozart, who developed on a parallel musical track to the Moravians. And there are pop smarts here, too: One of the songs even quotes the Star Spangled Banner, then a ditty for the masses. The period instruments create a fine chamber background--music that floats without weighting the vocals or tearing ears away. A second bonus CD contains an extended discussion with Martin Pearlman, whose discussion of the music is more than enlightening. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted, captures the spirit July 31, 2000
This recording truly seems to capture the spirit of the music. As someone who grew up singing in the Moravian church, this cd is a FIND. I listened with joy and surprise to this collection. The execution is tender, passionate, thoughtful. The balance between vocals and chamber orchestra is lovely, as close to perfect as one might imagine. I know many of the works on this cd as hymns and choral anthems, albeit in English. The uplifting musicality as an important part of worship was and continues to be part of the life of the Moravian church. The Moravian tradition embodies folk music in an authentic fashion, where the music of the church is truly the music of the people. Singing is a part of all activities within the church, providing a fabric through which fellowship and goodwill can flow. Somehow, the spirit of the context is captured here. The commentary by Martin Pearlman is quite informative and respectful. For individuals for whom music in the church has been more than an interlude in worship, for other Moravians out there who are far from the fold and can still hear the echoes, for those who are curious and want to listen to something slightly, pleasantly, off the beaten path, you will not be disappointed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful music played with clarity and feeling March 23, 1999
By A Customer
Martin Pearlman has done a great service through his research in the Moravian archives in North Carolina. His discoveries bring to us music of great beauty and seeming simplicity that masks subtle complexity. The quality of the orchestra and the soloists is outstanding
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Delightful! July 30, 1999
By A Customer
This is very pretty music. It reminds me in some ways of Handel's Messiah, but it has a sound all its own. The voices and instruments are supurb. I really enjoyed the accompanying insert in the CD, which gives a small biography of all the composers. There are complete lyrics in English and German as well. I would love to get the sheet music and perform it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This traditional Moravian music lives today! December 6, 1998
By A Customer
I just heard the Christmas section on PBS radio. "Lost music"? As one raised in the Moravian tradition, I can sing along with some of these chorales in English. Why? Because songs such as "Thou Child Divine" are sung every year at Christmas even today. I am ordering to see whether translations are provided. Also, to compare with other current reworkings of the classical Moravian composers. As a footnote, the Moravian Music Foundation publishes newly found works from the archives every two or three years. Thus many works are not lost, but newly mined.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting classical music for the holiday season! November 25, 1998
By A Customer
The music and vocals are refreshing and revitalizing for the holiday season. You will be relaxed and intriqued at the same time while listening!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Magnificent! May 14, 2011
By Cliff
Verified Purchase
This CD popped up as a recommendation from Amazon based on other purchases. I had only a passing awareness of the Moravians, but bought this anyway based on the great ratings. Wow! This will be one of my all-time favorite CDs. In fact, through some glitch with my shopping cart, I paid for and got two copies when I only (thought) I ordered one, and as I opened the box, I was thinking about how to return the extra one for credit; once I heard the music, I'll be keeping them both so I have one to give to someone else who will be blessed by this beautiful music. While most of the vocals are in German, a few are in English. With the printed words enclosed, and my high school German study [long, long ago] (Ich spreche kleine bisschen Deutsch, but not much more than that!)I'm able to follow along. If you know no German, this CD is still WELL worth having--just follow the words in the CD insert. The instrumentalists and vocalists are outstanding, the music is "large" and melodious, and, most of all, these compositions greatly honor God and our Lord Jesus Christ--several selections are simply Scripture set to music. As someone else noted in a review, this reminds me of Handel's marvelous music. I cannot recommend this CD highly enough--5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
While little known to the general public, the Moravians have contributed a fascinating, beautiful body of music that is also an important part of America's musical heritage. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, many classical European works were often performed in the Moravian communities of North Carolina and Pennsylvania decades prior to anywhere else in the country, and original music in this same tradition was written and performed by these same communities. The 32 selections presented here, mostly in the German language, were selected from thousands of Moravian scores contained in the Moravian Music Foundation collection. The majority of these selections are quite short, just a couple minutes long, in keeping with the tradition among the Moravians to set music to short scriptural readings, called "watchwords" (Losungen). Due to the relative brevity of these works, Martin Pearlman, founder and music director of Boston Baroque, decided to combine them into several Moravian "lovefeasts" (Liebesmahl), almost entirely musical services held for religious festivals and special occasions (according to the liner notes, the first organized celebration of American independence was a Moravian lovefeast), for Christmas, Lent, and Thanksgiving. The second of the two CDs provided here is a discussion of the music of the Moravians narrated by Martin Pearlman. The liner notes include English translations for all of the German performances. The music from 13 different composers are represented here, and although some of the pieces have more extensive lyrics, in keeping with traditional Moravian watchwords some of the selections revolve around simple lyrics of only one or two brief sentences. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Happily found lost music
Thanks to Pandora I got a taste of "Lost Music of Early America". Thanks to Amazon--and the seller who had this--I own the CD which was not available for purchase via iTunes. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Judy S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like it ~ Excellent
You can't go wrong with Boston Baroque. Beautiful music. A few songs sung in English. I don't understand German but you can feel the richness of the music.
Published 11 months ago by Read'em
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleased!
I love this music. It is a beautiful recording of music I had no idea existed before I happened to hear it on Pandora. Read more
Published 12 months ago by LJMac
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautitul!
What an enjoyable listen. Rapture at the noticeable joy in this music. And the explanation/discussion of this music is enlightening.
Published 14 months ago by julia anne sherrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Moravian music by Boston Baroque
This disc is so much fun; one could listen to it for days on end (I know I did); a lovely way to get reacquainted with music which is very little known
Published 15 months ago by Timothy Mckibben
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album
Very well conceived, conducted and played. I did not expect it to be so good; it was. Great work ought to be rewarded; buy this SOON.
Published 20 months ago by Serious E
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Find
One doesn't run into Thanksgiving music very often, but this early American Moravian (think Czech) music is a lovely compilation of short hymns performed on period instruments. Read more
Published on January 4, 2011 by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent transaction
If you enjoy Baroque choral music, this is a great CD for you. The singing is of a high calibur and the music itself is very interesting. Read more
Published on July 4, 2010 by amburkie
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I love this CD! There is a variety of German music--including Christmas music and other traditional songs.
Published on June 29, 2010 by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear.
I grew up in the Moravian church and the treatment of these dear and familiar tunes blesses me each time I listen to this album.
Published on May 13, 2010 by SAlaska
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