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Stephen Collins Foster: America's Bard

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It’s hard to imagine American music without the work of Stephen Collins Foster. Foster was born on July 4, 1826 – 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was signed. In 19th century America, popular songs were churned out by the dozens, but no other composer of the day wrote as many great songs with as much sticking power as Foster. We all grew up singing Oh, Susannah, Beautiful Dreamer, Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair, Old Folks at Home… the list goes on and on. 

This one-hour program, written and hosted by Naomi Lewin, includes those songs, and many others, plus instrumental numbers. Among the performers: Marilyn Horne, Thomas Hampson, Itzhak Perlman, and Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Happy Fourth!

Program Details

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: OMEGA 3005, Track 1 (3:29)
Benjamin Luxon, baritone
Instrumental ensemble conducted by Carl Davis

TIOGA WALTZ: ProPiano 224535, Track 16 (2:20)
Sara Davis Buechner, piano

CAMPTOWN RACES: London 417 242, Track 4 (2:14)
Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis

OH, SUSANNAH!: (download)
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski

JEANIE WITH THE LIGHT BROWN HAIR: London 417 242, Track 1 (4:17)
Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
Osian Ellis, harp

MY WIFE IS A MOST KNOWING WOMAN: Angel 54621, Track 14 (3:47)
Thomas Hampson, baritone
David Alpher, piano

SOIRÉE POLKA: Centaur 2250, Track 4 (1:49)
Noel Lester, piano

SWEETLY SHE SLEEPS, MY ALICE FAIR: Angel 54621, Track 11 (3:27)
Thomas Hampson, baritone
David Alpher, piano

IF YOU’VE ONLY GOT A MOUSTACHE: London 417 242, Track 3 (3:01)
Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis

WE ARE COMING FATHER ABRAAM: Albany 1056, Track 2 (4:11)
Stephen Swanson, baritone
David Gompper, piano

WAS MY BROTHER IN THE BATTLE?: Nonesuch 79158, Track 3 (3:54)
Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano
Gilbert Kalish, melodion

OLD FOLKS AT HOME (arr. Heifetz): EMI 56602, Track 9 (3:43)
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Samuel Sanders, piano

OLD FOLKS QUADRILLES: Arabesque 6679, Tracks 23-27 (4:01)
Paula Robison, flute
Krista Bennion Feeney and Calvin Wiersma, violin
John Feeny, double bass
Samuel Sanders, piano

MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME: Arabesque 6679, Track 28 (2:31)
Paula Robison, flute

HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE: THM 5432, Track 21 (4:37)
Thomas Hampson, baritone
Craig Rutenberg, piano

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: RCA 61253. Track 2 (underscoring)
Robert Shaw Chorale conducted by Robert Shaw