Essential American Recordings Survey

 


This survey was compiled to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first known secular American song, written by Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His song, "My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free," was composed in 1759. It is available on the CD: Songs by Francis Hopkinson (AMRC No. 17).

       My days have been so wondrous free      [manuscript]

From the Library of Congress website:

"The first extant art songs composed in the United States are credited to Francis Hopkinson, a friend of George Washington and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hopkinson, the only American-born composer for whom there is evidence of having written songs prior to 1800, penned "My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free" (words by Doctor [Thomas] Parnell) in 1759. Scored for voice and harpsichord, this song by Hopkinson is America's earliest surviving secular composition."

Essential American Recordings Survey

From the extensive private American Music Recordings Archive with over 1,000 recordings carefully collected over 50 years.

This is a survey of 200 representative recordings (150 CDs and 50 LPs) of music composed or performed between 1759 and 1959.

The Essential American Recordings Survey (or EARS) has been compiled to call attention to the vast amount of music composed and recorded in America.

No claim is made to include every major recording artist, prominent piece of music, or type of music. This is too vast an area to cover completely.

The recordings were chosen to be represntative of American music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. This survey provides a selective list of American recordings of historical importance, including:

patriotic music
choral music
sacred and gospel music
solo vocal music
keyboard music
chamber music
orchestral music
folk music
jazz music
country & western music
theater music
film music
blues songs
easy listening music

rock n' roll music

Each survey entry has the following information:

EARS number
Record title
Recording artists
Record label with year of release (if known)

All of the recordings on this survey are found in the
American Music Recordings Archive [AMRA]
 


This survey will be updated periodically as more recordings become available.

Only the recordings that are not available anywhere else will be available on a specially made CD-R for personal or educational use only. If you would like to request a recording on EARS, write for more details to:

EARS

To go directly to the other EARS pages, click on these links:

Part II: 1800-1859

Part III: 1860-1899

Part IV: 1900-1959



Essential American
Recordings Survey

Part I: 1759 - 1799
(30 recordings)

Compiled by Roger Lee Hall

 

 

 



COLONIAL ROOTS

 

 

 

001. AMERICA SINGS, Vol. 1: The Founding Years, 1620 -1800
The Gregg Smith Singers (Vox Box, 2 CDs CDX 5080, 1993)
Including earliest music published in America and songs composed
by the first American composers.

 



002. AN AMERICAN JOURNEY: BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND

The Waverly Consort, Michael Jaffe, Director
(Angel Records 7243 5 55522 2 8, 1996)

 

003. EARLY AMERICAN ROOTS
Hesperus ( Tina Chancey, Mark Cudek, Scott Reiss)
(Maggie’s Music MMCD 216, 1996)

004. THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN THE NEW WORLD:
American harpsichord music of the 18 th century

Olivier Baumont, harpsichord
(Erato, 8573-85800-2, 2001)

 

 

EARLY COMPOSERS

 

005. GOOSTLY PSALMES: Anglo-American Psalmody 1550-1800
His Majestie’s Clerkes, Paul Hillier, Conductor
(harmonia mundi 907128, 1996)

006. “A LAND OF PURE DELIGHT”:
William Billings, Anthems and Fuging Tunes

His Majestie’s Clerkes, Paul Hillier, Conductor
(harmonia mundi 907048, 1992/ reissue as:
EARLY AMERICAN CHORAL MUSIC, Volume 1 HCX 3957048, 2001)

007. LOST MUSIC OF EARLY AMERICA: MUSIC OF THE MORAVIANS
Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman, Director;
Cynthia Sieden, Sharon Baker, sopranos
(Telarc CD-80482, 1998)

008. MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE: AMERICAN PSALMODY 1770-1840
The Oregon State University Choir, Ron Jeffers, Conductor
(New World Records 80255-2, 1978/ 1996)

009. WAKE EV’RY BREATH: Music by William Billings
William Appling Singers and Orchestra
(New World Records 80539-2, 1998)

 

 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
AND
THE FEDERAL ERA


010. THE BIRTH OF LIBERTY: MUSIC OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Seth McCoy, tenor; Sherrill Milnes, baritone; James Richman and Jon Spong, harpsichord; American Fife Ensemble; The Continental Harmony Singers, Neely Bruce, Conductor; The Liberty Tree Wind Players
(New World Records 80276-2, 1976)

011. LIBERTY! THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (PBS Television Soundtrack)
Music arranged by Mark O’Connor
James Taylor, vocal and guitar; Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
(Sony Classical SK 63216, 1997)

012. LIBERTY TREE: American Music 1776-1861
The Boston Camerata, Joel Cohen, Director
(Erato 3984-21668-2, 1998)

013. GEORGE WASHINGTON: MUSIC FOR THE FIRST PRESIDENT
David and Ginger Hildebrand, musicians
(Private issue, H 105, 1999)


014. THE SPIRIT OF ’76: Music or Fifes and Drums
Members of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Frederick Fennell, Conductor
(Mercury Living Presence 514778T, 1956/1997)

015. THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN:
Instrumental arrangements from the time of the American Revolution

Barry Phillips and Friends
(Gourd Music GM 110, 1992)

 

 

LP COLLECTIONS  

016. AMERICAN COLONIAL CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Berkeley Chamber Singers, Alden Gilchrist, Conductor
(Musical Heritage Society MHS 1126, 1973)

017. AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR SONGS TO
CULTIVATE THE SENSATIONS OF FREEDOM

Arthur F. Schrader, David and Janet Robertsong, Edward Olsen,
Kenneth Lemly
(Folkways Records FH 5279, 1976)

018. AN ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN ORGAN MUSIC, Volume I: The Eighteenth Century. Music by Francis Hopkinson, John Christoph Moller, Alexander Reinagle, William Selby, James Hewitt, Philp Phile, and others
Janice Beck, organist
(Musical Heritage Society OR A-262, 1971)

019. AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN: A Collection of Hymns, Anthems,
Psalm Tunes and Canons from the earliest American authors
( Billings, French, Holden, Ingalls, others)
Old Stoughton Musical Society and Musical Society in Stoughton
William Childs, chorister (conductor)

(Old North Bridge Records 1762, 1975)

020. ARIAS, ANTHEMS OF THE AMERICAN MORAVIANS
The Moravian Festival Chorus and Orchestra,
Thor Johnson, Conductor
(2 Volumes: Columbia ML 5427/MS 6102 and
ML 5688/MS 6288, 1960s)

021. FELSTED, SAMUEL. JONAH: An Oratorio (1775)
The Catskill Choral Society, Thurston Dox, Conductor
(Music Heritage Society MHS 4870L, 1983)

022. THE FLOWERING OF VOCAL MUSIC IN AMERICA, Volume 1:
The Moravians and Anthony Philip Heinrich

Cynthia Clarey, soprano; Barbara Wallace, soprano; D’Anna Fortunato, mezzo-soprano; Evelyn Petros, mezzo-soprano; Charles Bressler, tenor; Richard Anderson, baritone, Joseph McKee, bass; Harriet Wingren, piano; Leonard Raver, organ; The New World String Orchestra, Andrew Raeburn, Conductor
(New World Records NW 230, 1978)

023. HOPKINSON, FRANCIS. AMERICAN INDEPENDENT OR,
THE TEMPLE OF MINERVA (1781)

The Colonial Singers and Players, Gillian B. Anderson, Director
(Musical Heritage Society, MHS 3684, 1977)

024. MUSIC FOR THE COLONIAL BAND ( Josiah Flagg, William Selby, others)
The Colonial Band of Boston, David McKay, Bandmaster
(Folkways Records FTS 32378, 1976)

025. MUSIC FOR THE COLONIAL ORCHESTRA:
18 th Century American Orchestral Music ( Holyoke, Gram, others)

The Wayland Concert Orchestra, David P. McKay, Conductor
(Folkways Records FTS 32380, 1978)

026. MUSIC OF THE FEDERAL ERA ( Holyoke, Shaw, others)
Members of the Federal Music Society,
John Baldon, Conductor
(New World Records NW 299, 1978)

027. THE NEW ENGLAND HARMONY: A Collection of Early
American Choral Music ( Billings, Holden, others)

Old Sturbridge Singers
(Folkways Records FA 32377, 1964)

028. REVOLUTIONARY TEA: Songs, Ballads & Broadsides of loyalty and sedition, oppression & glorious Liberty from the American Revolution
Tony Saletan and the Yankee Tunesmiths
(Old North Bridge Records 1776, 1975)

029. SONGS FROM A COLONIAL TAVERN: As Performed in Colonial Williamsburg
Taylor Vrooman, with Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano;
Marvin Hayes, bass
(Decca DL 74546, 1964)

030. VERMONT HARMONY (3 Volumes)
Volume 1: music of Justin Morgan and others
Volume 2: music of Jeremiah Ingalls and Hezekiah Moors
Volume 3: music of Elisha West, Ebenezer Child, Eliakim Doolittle

University of Vermont Choral Union, James Chapman, conductor
(Philo LP 1000, 1972; LP 1038, 1976; LP 1073, 1985)

 

[End of Part I, 1759 - 1799]

 

Go to Part Two>>>


Essential American Recordings Survey

Part Two: 1800 - 1859 (30 recordings)

Part Three: 1860 - 1899 (40 recordings)

Part Four: 1900 - 1959 (100 recordings)


 

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Essential American Recordings Survey


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