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The Civil War - Traditional American Songs And Instrumental Music Featured In The Film By Ken Burns: Original Soundtrack Recording [Soundtrack]

Molly Mason, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Matt Glaser, Jacqueline Schwab, Jay UngarAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

Price: $9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, Soundtrack, 1990 $9.99  
Audio Cassette, Soundtrack, 1991 $35.00  
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The Civil War - Traditional American Songs And Instrumental Music Featured In The Film By Ken Burns: Original Soundtrack Recording + Songs of the Civil War + Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War
Price for all three: $34.17

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 29, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: September 23, 1990
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J0O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Drums Of War - Old Bethpage Brass Band
2. Quote - Oliver Wendall Holmes
3. Ashokan Farewell - NA
4. The Battle Cry Of Freedom - NA
5. We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder - NA
6. Dixie/Bonnie Blue Flag - The New American Brass Band
7. Cheer Boys Cheer - The New American Brass Band
8. Angel Band - Russ Barenburg
9. Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier - Jacqueline Schwab
10. Lorena - Jay Ungar
11. Parade - The New American Brass Band
12. Hail Columbia - The New American Brass Band
13. Dixie - Bobby Horton
14. Kingdom Coming - Jay Ungar
15. Battle Hymn Of The Republic - Matt Glaser
16. All Quiet On The Potomic - Jacqueline Schwab
17. Flag Of Columbia - Jacqueline Schwab
18. Weeping Sad And Lonely - Jacqueline Schwab
19. Yankee Doodle - The Old Bethpage Brass Band
20. Palmyra Schottische - The New American Brass Band
See all 28 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Jewel case with inserts, CD is very clean with very clear sound

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When I watched The Civil War, Ken Burns' epic documentary, on PBS 13 years ago, I was not only moved by the mix of period paintings, photographs, voiceovers by great actors and David McCullough's wonderful narration, but I was captivated by the music in the soundtrack. From the poignant "Ashokan Farewell" (the signature theme of the film) to a beautiful choral presentation of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," the songs and military marches from the period added their powerful emotional content to an already engrossing television event.
The Civil War: Traditional American Songs and Instrumental Music Featured in the Film By Ken Burns is a treasure trove of musical gold. Its 28 tracks contain almost a full hour of military marches ("Parade," "Bonnie Blue Flag," "Palmyra Scottische"), sentimental songs ("Lorena," "Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier") and patriotic songs ("Dixie," "The Battle Cry of Freedom") that were popular in both North and South in the 1860s.
Of course, the track most listeners associate with both the documentary is the haunting "Ashokan Farewell," composed by Jay Ungar and performed by Ungar with Evan Stover, Matt Glaser, Molly Mason and Russ Barenger. It is a beautiful modern folk composition (originally heard in Fiddle Fever's "Waltz of the Wind" album) that reflects the tragic split between North and South that resulted in America's ugliest and bloodiest war. It is presented twice on this album, first in its entirety (track 3) and closes the CD along with a reading of Sullivan Ballou's last letter to his wife shortly before his death at the first battle of Bull Run.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid example of Civil War music. August 4, 2000
Format:Audio CD
While visiting relatives in Virginia and spending a moving day on the battle field of First Manassas (or Bull Run if you prefer) my interest in the Civil War was well and truly sparked. I had heard so much about the film of the war by Ken Burns that when it became available in England (only in late 1999) I bought it on video. Purchasing this CD was the next step. Ken Burns himself suggests that "Music, songs are a kind of glue that holds our history together and binds the present with the past to form out most important memories." This recording does exactly that, it enables the listener to gain an insight into the musical sounds of the war and by doing so to understand at a deeper level the motivations behind it. There is a wide representation of styles from the spiritual to the march from simple acoustic guitar to the lamenting fiddle. For most people who know the Burns film `Ashokan Farewell' quite rightly stands out. The music is beautiful in itself but when it is combined, as it is on this CD, with a letter sent home a week before his death at First Manassas by Major Sullivan Ballou, it becomes quite the most moving piece of music and narrative I have ever heard.
I bought this CD along with `Songs of the Civil War' (co-produced by Ken Burns) and both are splendid examples of Civil War music, I recommend both to you.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Lost "Hits" September 30, 2002
Format:Audio CD
There's a fair chance this CD's sales will spike every time PBS shows Ken Burn's film.
Why? It is great music, most of which can only be heard on indie internet radio folk and bluegrass stations. Maybe you can hear a cut or two on your community college public radio station, or played a more sophisticated DJ.
But, thanks to Burns, the TV-watching world is exposed to "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder" and classics like, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." You might know some of these tunes from way back when, but more than likely, they are new.
I've thoroughly enjoyed this music, and found Burn's presentation of it in his mini-series documentary well done.
I fully recommend "The Civil War." Billboard hits long before there was Billboard.
Anthony Trendl
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As w/the film itself, an absolute masterpiece. May 26, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I'll get the bad news out of the way first: my one gripe is that this CD did not include the rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in which the little-used third verse is sung:

"I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel/ As ye deal with My contemners, so with ye My grace shall deal/ Let the Hero born of Woman crush the serpent with his heel/ Since my God is marching on/"

To be fair, the only album on which I HAVE heard this verse is Lee Greenwood's rendition on his "American Patriot" CD; unfortunately, Lee in turns short-changes the listener by skipping the 5th verse of "Battle Hymn," i.e. "In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born across the sea . . ."

But enough kvetching! This is an excellent CD! The main reason I bought is is that I fell in love with "The Battle Cry of Freedom" from watching the mini-series . . .but for the longest time I didn't know what the corrrect title of the song was! Anyway, I was tickeld pink to see that there's two "Battle Cry" tracks on the CD . . . and I fell in love with all the other tracks on the CD as well.

ESPECIALLY the final track, the Letter of Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah (Sara?) with "The Ashokan Farewell" in the background. Sheer elogance of writing, almost poetic and lyrical, a thing of beauty. Statistics supposedly tell us that the present-day literacy rate in the U.S. supersedes the literacy rate of "back then," yet letters like Maj Ballou's seem to say to otherwise.

God bless this great Nation and all those who defend her, past and present.
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