I Am the Rose of Sharon: Early American Vocal Music, Volume I

Grammy Nominee: Best Chamber Music Performance 1973

A landmark recording presenting New England anthems by the early American Yankee tunesmiths William Billings, Justin Morgan, Daniel Read and Andrew Law and southern folk-hymns taken from the seminal collection, Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, Part II, published in 1813. These startlingly original folk compositions are the progenitors of the shape-note style still sung today.

I Am the Rose of Sharon is a reissue of The Western Wind’s first recording originally released on Nonesuch in 1973 under the title Early American Vocal Music. It was nominated for a Grammy in 1973 in the Chamber Music category and was selected as Stereo Review’s Record of the Year.

“… the most beautiful and important recorded contribution to the performance of early American anthems, plain tunes and folk hymns … a music of astonishing directness, iridescence and spiritual depth …” The New York Times

(Originally released on Nonesuch Records in 1973. Available on CD for the first time.)

The Western Wind:
Janet Steele, Janet Sullivan, sopranos; William Zukof, countertenor; William Lyon Lee, Lawrence Bennett, tenors; Elliot Levine, baritone

Guest Artists: Mary Lesnick, mezzo-soprano; Raymond Murcell, bass-baritone; Stuart Schulman, violin; Bonney McDowell, bass viol; Paul Fleischer, piccolo; Allen Herman, snare drum

Dramatic Supervision: Steven Urkowitz

Track List

1. Andrew Law (1749–1821): Bunker Hill
2. Daniel Read (1757–1836): Newport – soprano (Sullivan), countertenor, tenor (Bennett), baritone
3. Justin Morgan (1747–1798): Judgment Anthem
4. Morgan: Amanda – soprano (Steele), countertenor, tenor (Bennett)
5. William Billings (1746–1800): I Am Come Into My Garden
6. Billings: I Charge You
7. Billings: I Am the Rose of Sharon
8. Billings: An Anthem, for Thanksgiving: O Praise the Lord of Heaven
9. Anonymous: Washington
10. Jeremiah Ingalls (1764–1828): Northfield
11. Anonymous: Triumph
12. White: Power – soprano (Steele)
13. Anonymous: Messiah – tenor (Bennett)
14. Anonymous: Canaan
15. Lewer: Fidelia
16. Robison: Fiducia – soprano (Sullivan)
17. Elkanah Kelsey Dare (1782–1826): Babylonian Captivity
18. Anonymous: Springhill – soprano solo (Steele) with ensemble
19. Lucius Chapin (1760–1842): Rockbridge
20. Anonymous: Concert – tenor (Lee)
21. Anonymous: Lonsdale
22. Anonymous: Animation
23. Anonymous: Pilgrim’s Farewell

Price: $14.95