An Early American Quilt
HESPERUS Early Music Ensemble
Hear audio samples of all tracks!
From the first colonists to the American Revolution and the birth of our republic Hesperus' music reflects a time of new ideas, freedom and vitality.
In town and village, parlor and ballroom, from the Appalachian mountains to the great concert halls hear the musical pulse of early American music performed on a wide variety of folk and early music instruments. Includes: lively country-dance tunes, evocative Shape Note Hymns, old time Appalachian fiddle tunes, graceful European parlor music, French cotillions, divisions and improvisations.
The Maggie's Music Early American Music Series now features five award-winning CDs: (flyer)
- A Civil War Scrapbook (MM236)
- An Early American Quilt (MM235)
- Colonial America (MM227)
- Early American Roots (MM216)
- Celtic Roots (MM220)
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"There's universal appeal in the engaging dance tunes and traditional ballads of this journey back through our nation's musical heritage. Guest musicians Maggie Sansone and Bonnie Rideout join the early music ensemble Hesperus for some sprightly Celtic- and Appalachian-flavored instrumentals, and it's all topped off with two haunting vocal tracks, Barbara Allen and the shape-note hymn New Jerusalem. - Olsson's Books & Music, (Holiday Gift Guide)
"Hesperus is a cutting-edge consort. The performers are consummate musicianswith unqualified command of their instruments who give us a performance thatis thrilling from beginning to end."- American Recorder Magazine
"They attacked the complicated rhythms with a vigor that made them downright dancey."- The Milwaukee Journal
"An argument could be made that Hesperus, in addition to being an award-winning early music ensemble, is in the travel business, transporting listeners across time zones that reach into the distant and murky past. As for the common thread running though this musical quilt, it's easy enough to spot, thanks to the finely honed artistry and rapport consistently displayed by Tina Chancey , Scott Reiss and Grant Herried. - Mike Joyce, The Washington Post
Tina Chancey ~ Director, fiddle, viola da gamba, recorder (1-3,5-9,11-20)
Scott Reiss ~ Founder, recorders, Irish whistle, hammered dulcimer (2,5,6,9,11,16,17,19,20)
Grant Herried ~ lute, guitar, theorbo, recorder (1-4,8-9,11-15,17-18)
Mark Cudek ~ cittern, baroque guitar (5,6,20)
Robert Eisenstein ~ viola da gamba, recorder (6,6,19,20)
Peter Marshall ~ harpsichord (6,16,19,20)
Melissa Weaver Dunning ~ traditional singer (10,16)
Hesperus Shape-Note Chorus (16)
Bonnie Rideout ~ Scottish fiddle (9)
Maggie Sansone ~ hammered dulcimer (1,8)
William Taylor ~ bray harp (2,9)
Philippe Varlet ~ Irish fiddle (9)
Listen to samples of all tracks
John Playford: Dancing Master (1651-1728) 3:26
Simon the King
John Walsh: Division Flute (1707) 3:15
Bay/Old Noll's Jig
John Playford: Dancing Master (1651-1728) 2:22
Dance/I Never Knew Ye Loved Me
Rowallan Lute Book (1620) 3:04
Joe/Cuckolds All in a Row/Rufty Tufty/Parson's Farewell
John Playford: Dancing Master (1651-1728) 7:09
- Jefferson's March/Ça Ira/The Presidents' March
Traditional/French Traditional/Philip Phile 4:10
- Jig Divided 12 Ways John Playford: Apollo's Banquet (1669-90) 2:56
To The Wedding/The Priest In His Boots/Off She Goes
Benjamin Carr: First Book of Cotillions (1801) Irish traditional 3:55
- Prelude/La Catherine Anon French/John Playford: Apollo's Banquet (1669-90) 3:11
Anthony Holborne (17th c. England ) 5:43
John Playford: Dancing Master (1651-1728) 1:57
- *Fortune My Foe (16th c. England ) 5:35
- New Year's
John Playford: Dancing Master (1651-1728) 2:19
- New Jerusalem
Sacred Harp (18th c. America ) 2:09
- La Luxillier/La
Benjamin Carr: First Book of Cotillions (1801) 2:26
- Go From
John Dowland (16th c. England ) 2:08
Sonata #5 in D major: Largo et Amoroso-Allegro
Thomas Arne (18th c. England ) 2:27
John Playford: Dancing Master (1651-1728) 1:40
About the CD
A patchwork quilt is the ideal metaphor for British Colonial America from 1607-1776; a ragbag of territories populated by a broad range of colorful characters, all with different values, experiences and goals. In the same way, a quilt is also the perfect image for the music the colonists played and enjoyed-a wildly diverse patchwork, that pieced together musical traditions of the English, Irish, Scottish and French, with an eventual appliqué of new sounds from the budding Republic. An Early American Quilt adds a Double Wedding Ring pattern to this quilt motif, doubly extending our timeframe with earlier repertoire from the cusp of the 17th century (the Jamestown era) as well as with earlier performances--selections from a ground-breaking live concert marking HESPERUS' first crossover of chamber and folk styles. This recording includes Playford country dances, cotillions (18th c. French ancestors of our modern square dances), divisions (variations over a repeating bass), marches and virtuosic instrumental solos. Two vocals are featured: a stunning version of the traditional ballad Barbara Allen—listen for the chapel bell that unexpectedly tolls just at the right time and in the right key; and the lively, stylish performance of New Jerusalem (a ‘sacred harp' or ‘shape note' hymn--one of the earliest authentically American choral genres). We also present a few tasteful movements from an 18th century trio sonata by Thomas Arne, and two dances by Queen Elizabeth's court composer, Anthony Holborne. It's a real treat to hear Scott in 1985, only in his early 30s, but already demonstrating his skill in an exuberant performance of The Merry Milkmaids. Something new: improvisations by Tina, Grant and guest artist Maggie, over Noboddie's Jig, Stingo, Greensleeves, and Fortune my Foe. And, with a few favorite “scraps” from our other Maggie's Music CDs our quilt is complete. What holds it together? According to Mike Joyce, “As for the common thread running though this musical quilt, it's easy enough to spot, thanks to the finely honed artistry and rapport consistently displayed by all of the performers.” Enjoy! - Tina Chancey (Director)
HESPERUS one of the nation's first and most important performers of “chamber folk” music, bringing the energy and spirit of traditional music to virtuoso performances on an impressive array of folk and early music instruments. The ensemble has performed Early American music in residence at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Thomas Jefferson's historic Monticello and Colonial Williamsburg. An Early American Quilt is 4th in a series of HESPERUS' Early American music recordings on the Maggie's Music label.
Live and Recorded Sources
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18: recorded by James Robeson, Bias Studios, Springfield , VA. (2007). Tina Chancey (TC), Grant Herreid (GH), with Maggie Sansone.
Tracks 11 and 17: Colonial America (Maggie's Music, MM227, 2003). TC, GH and Scott Reiss (SR).
Tracks 2 and 9: Celtic Roots (Maggie's Music, MM220,1999). TC, GH, SR with Bonnie Rideout, Philippe Varlet and William Taylor.
Track 5: Early American Roots (Maggie's Music, MM116,1993).TC, SR and Mark Cudek (MC).
Track 6, 10, 16, 19, 20 – from a live concert recorded by Paul Blakemore, Georgetown University/Gaston Hall (1985). TC, MC, SR, Robert Eisenstein and Peter Marshall with Melissa Weaver Dunning and the HESPERUS Shape-note Chorus.
Producer: Tina Chancey; Executive Producer: Maggie Sansone; Mastering engineer: Charlie Pilzer, Airshow Mastering, Springfield , VA ; CD Booklet: design: Amy White, Fairewood Studios, Fairview , NC ; Artist photo: Thomas Radcliffe, Point of View Studio;Quilt photos: Amish Paper Bag Lone Star Wall Hanging, John Volt, www.amishcountrylanes.com