Gloriæ Dei Cantores, critically acclaimed for their interpretations of American music, present an exciting collaboration with Grammy Award-winner Mark O'Connor. Featured on this recording is a 15-minute commissioned work by O'Connor, Let Us Move, with violin obligato. Also featured are arrangements of beloved hymns and folk songs from Appalachia and the South. Exploding with energy and excitement, this must-have album presents a new American classical style of music, inspired by the rich American folk tradition.
"Nothing could have prepared me for the day I first heard this music sung back to me. . . . Gloriæ Dei Cantores' voices sounded like angels descending from Heaven, delivering and rendering my music in a way that seemed to shake the rafters and elevate the spirit."
—Mark O'Connor, February 2001
|1||Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal|
arr. Alice Parker
|2||His Voice as the Sound|
|4||O Thou, in Whose Presence|
|6||Let Us Move|
|7||Begin, My Soul|
|10||Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head|
Arr. John Jacob Niles
|12||I Will Arise|
Arr. Michael Hale
Arr. John Carter
Arr. Michael Hale
|16||Death Shall Not Destroy|
| ||Total Time:||58:38|
For many listeners, the chief interest of this recording will be the presence of popular fiddler/composer Mark O’Connor and the premiere of his piece Let Us Move, a 15-plus-minute work based on an original melody set to Charles Wesley’s beloved hymn text, “Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia!”…It’s presence on a program of authentic folk hymns and ballads from Appalachia – including settings from original sources and arrangements by authorities such as John Jacob Niles and Alice Parker – is seemingly justified by the text’s long tradition in American church hymnals and because of O’Connor’s current popularity for his Appalachia-themed instrumental works, themes continued here by O’Connor’s insertion of his own improvisatory-style fiddling at various points throughout the piece.
…In many circles Let Us Move will be highly praised for its built-in energy, its frequently catchy rhythms and appealing melodic/harmonic effects and for the way it appears to cleverly combine elements of early American musical styles with more modern features….The rest of the program offers well-chosen examples of the repertoire promised by the disc’s title and liner notes – early American folk-hymns and arrangements, performed in Gloriae Dei Cantore’s usual expert, technically assured, stylistically appropriate manner. This choir…has vast experience in performance of all sorts of repertoire, but director Elizabeth Patterson always is careful to honor the music’s historical context and – most importantly – the words. And we hear every one, delivered with conviction and concern for balance among sections and overall ensemble blend….I highly recommend Gloriae Dei Cantores’ performances, available on numerous recordings of this same label.
David Vernier Classics Today
Let Us Move, composed by Grammy award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor…explores and captures this country’s rich and vocal tradition and spirituality.
Jerry Hames Episcopal Life
O’Connor is part of another wonderful CD... “Appalachian Sketches,” a beautiful CD from Gloriae Dei Cantores….Charles K. Wolfe, music historian at Middle Tennessee State University, said, “O’Connor continues to merge his formal virtuosity and training with his early love of traditional Appalachian folk music, and takes both in new directions.”..If you like choral music purchase this CD.
Roderick Harrington Eldorado News Times
Consider “Let Us Move.” A 15-minute piece for chorus with violin obbligato, “Let Us Move” is the centerpiece of Appalachian Sketches.”…O’Connor’s work mixes various elements, from traditional shape-note singing to jazz licks, in a propulsive structure reminiscent of a Baroque passacaglia…. “The commission for “Let Us Move” came at a point when I was making these discoveries for myself and experimenting with vocal sounds” (says O’Connor). “A lot of my instrumental music is spiritual in nature but it was a big deal for me to commit my instrumental music to words. It was something I was feeling at the time…and I felt that the country was being divided…Let Us Move just jumped out at me – music can move us in a positive direction – and it became a healing time for me.
John Henken Los Angeles Times
In Appalachian Sketches, one of America’s finest choral groups, Gloriae Dei Cantores, turns their attention to a rarely heard set of pioneer American folk hymns. A highlight of the set is the premiere recording of “Let Us Move,” featuring the well-known violinist Mark O’Connor. Here O’Connor continues to merge his formal virtuosity and training with his early love of traditional Appalachian folk music, and takes both in new directions. The result are both exhilarating and evocative, and one of the most successful and creative collaborations in recent memory.
Charles K. Wolfe Music Historian
What a delight!...Ms. Patterson’s group is just excellent – lovely tone, immersion in the text, and understanding of the style. I loved hearing the sympathetic performances of the Eight Mountain Hymns as well as the better-known arrangements. And Mark O’Connor’s composition is just lovely – wonderful to hear the violin moving around, within, above the voices. It’s very imaginative and appealing.
Alice Parker Melodious Accord