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Songs by Stephen Foster

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 28, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Collection of songs by Stephen Foster sung by Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano, and Leslie Guinn, baritone featuring Gilbert Kalish on piano and melodeon - 23 songs in all.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
3:21
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2
30
3:14
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3
30
3:57
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4
30
2:59
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5
30
1:24
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6
30
3:02
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7
30
3:40
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8
30
2:12
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9
30
5:43
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10
30
3:27
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11
30
3:34
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12
30
2:24
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13
30
3:03
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14
30
1:46
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15
30
3:29
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16
30
3:30
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17
30
2:07
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18
30
3:51
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19
30
2:05
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20
30
2:41
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21
30
2:00
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22
30
3:02
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23
30
4:09
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 28, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005IYE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By klavierspiel VINE VOICE on October 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is, in a word, a wonderful album. The performers have sterling credentials, there is attention to authenticity and historical accuracy--original editions and period instruments are used--and above all, the project of recording the music of Foster was obviously approached with care and love on the part of all involved. The result is that music that can seem quaint and even campy glows with all its original richness of emotion and humor. There are surprises among the familiar classics, as well--the moving "Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway," with its surprising harmonies (in the original), and the duet "Wilt Thou Be Gone, Love?" based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, are particular gems. This is an album I still return to after decades.
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Format: Audio CD
I have never heard such unadulterated extraworldy sound emanate from two human voices and what would otherwise be firewood (the period instruments played by Gilbert Kalish). It stirs profound patriotism and a deep sentimentality for our early days when a civilized people pined to find virtue by examining its own body-- the north and the south, the small town, the simple flag, and the beauty of gentile manly and womanly love expressed through equisite song. There is no other music I would rather hear 'when summoning up the remembrance of things past.' The ghost of the early American parlor will prick your skin through these simple hymns and you may escape for a moment our troubled and busy times.
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Format: Audio CD
The voices and instruments, like the songs, are straight from the mid-19th century. If you want to be transported back in time 150 years to a wonderful parlor performance of Foster's songs, this is the album to do it. The voices are marvelous and trained, and one must imagine that the strict phrasing and style are what one would have expected at the time. The cheap upright piano is perfect.

But the one perfect moment for me is the ONLY good extant rendition of "Was My Brother in the Battle?". Accompanied on a harmonium or pump reed organ, if this song doesn't tempt a tear, you simply aren't a romantic.

Very highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is truly wonderful. I listen to my LP of it all the time. Jan Degatani, Lelsie Guinn, and Gilbert Kalish with the help of some other musicians recorded this album in Concert at the Smithsonian Institution. It is just the thing for a rainy day. Spin the Black Vinyl, and pour yourself a hot drink and sit back and listen. If you threw the turntable out, don't worry. I suppose this album still sounds great on CD.
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Format: Audio CD
The landmark Library of Congress album, now on enhanced CD. Years

ago, I went on a six-months field assignment to a remote area of

Africa, where I could take only what music I could carry in a vest

pocket. I chose a tape player and two albums: a recital by Perlman

and this album on tape, and was content. If you love American

music, sung poetry, beautiful singing and deeply moving musicality,

this is an album you will treasure for a lifetime.
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Format: Audio CD
What can I say that hasn't already been said below? I only wanted to reiterate how wonderful this album is and assure the reader the sound is spectacular on CD. This is a live recording, and intentionally so, as the idea was to create a "parlor" experience as these were parlor songs to be sung by family and friends around the old upright piano. I especially liked the comment about the upright piano which, indeed, does croak and clank throughout the performance adding a note of "authenticity" without becoming obtrusive.

If only Ms. DeGaetani had graced my parlor...
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