Harry T. Burleigh Songs:  Oral Moses;  Ann Sears   (Northeastern Classical Arts 252)
Item# V0481
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Harry T. Burleigh Songs:  Oral Moses;  Ann Sears   (Northeastern Classical Arts 252)
V0481. HARRY T. BURLEIGH Songs, by Oral Moses (Bass-Baritone), w.Ann Sears(Pf.). Northeastern Classical Arts 252, recorded 1994. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 096678025223


"After more than 100 years, the Negro spiritual is still one of the most beloved genres in American music around the world. Designated a National Treasure by the U.S. Congress in 2007, spirituals offer a unique solace and courage to face personal trials. We also celebrate the iconic arrangers who have helped embed the Negro spiritual deep into the patchwork of American music. Composers including Hall Johnson, Margaret Bonds, Florence Price and Harry T. Burleigh, to mention only a few, have created arrangements that are world classics. Likewise there is a long-standing tradition and history of world-class artists whose performances have earned their rightful place in the canon of recital repertory.

The African-American spiritual has probably been performed as many ways as there are people who have experienced their message, but this is a performance in the classic mold of the composers and arrangers who have treated the spiritual as an art song. With versions that experiment with later layers of African-American rhythm and with the harmonies of the gospel choral tradition, it is refreshing to hear these restrained, straightforward readings, and it is even better to experience their considerable power. Bass-baritone Oral Moses, a professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, is an extraordinary interpreter of the spirituals, He deemphasizes conventional beauty of tone in favor of intense engagement with the words, stretching out the tempo in order to focus on specific ideas. Nothing in his interpretation is new, and indeed the arrangements he uses, dating back as far as William Grant Still, are mostly classics of the genre."