Program 7: Champions of American Song

Over the course of the 20th century, our classical singers were enthusiastic advocates for songs by American composers. In this program, we hear the music they brought to far-flung audiences through recitals, phonograph records, and radio broadcasts.


Song listings with composer / poet, performers, CD label, and CD number:

Pirate Song
Henry Gilbert / Robert Louis Stevenson
David Bispham, baritone; pianist unknown
transfer from 78 RPM

Long Ago, Sweetheart Mine
from Four Songs
Edward MacDowell / Edward MacDowell
Alma Gluck, soprano; Rosario Bourdon, piano
Marston 52001-2

Sidney Homer / William Ernest Henley
Louise Homer, contralto; Victor Orchestra, conductor unknown
Pearl Gemm CD9950

The Monk and His Cat
from Hermit Songs
Samuel Barber / Anonymous 8th or 9th century, translated by W. H. Auden
Leontyne Price, soprano; Samuel Barber, piano
RCA Victor Gold Seal 09026-61983-2

The Home Road
John Alden Carpenter / John Alden Carpenter
Ernestine Schmann-Heink, contralto; Katherine Hoffman, piano
Delos DE5503

Go Down, Moses
Henry T. Burleigh, arr. / Traditional
Roland Hayes, tenor; Lawrence Brown, piano
NW 247 (LP)

Will o’ the Wisp
Charles Gilbert Spross / Torrence Benjamin
Marian Anderson, contralto; Franz Rupp, piano
VAIA 1168

On the Road to Mandalay
Oley Speaks / Rudyard Kipling
Lawrence Tibbett, baritone; Stewart Wille, piano

Gentle Annie
Stephen Foster / Stephen Foster
Robert Merrill, baritone; Leila Edwards, piano

At Dawning
Charles Wakefield Cadman / Nelle Richmond Eberhart
Paul Robeson, bass-baritone; orchestra conducted  by Walter Goehr
EMI 2 15598 2

The Bluebird of Happiness
Sandor Harmati / Edward Heyman, with additional words by Harry Parr Davies
Jan Peerce, tenor; RCA Victor Orchestra, Sylvan Levin, conductor
RCA Victor Gold Seal 09026-68531-2

Oscar Rasbach / Joyce Kilmer
Nelson Eddy,baritone; Columbia Concert Orchestra, Leon Arnaud conductor

Nancy Hanks
Katherine Kennicott Davis / Rosemary Benét
Eleanor Steber, soprano; Edwin Biltcliffe, piano
VAIA 1005-2; CD 2, track 17

Zion’s Walls
from Old American Songs, Set 2
Aaron Copland, arr. / Original melody and words credited to John G. McCurry
William Warfield, baritone; Aaron Copland, piano
Sony Classical SM2K 89326/89327

Let It Be Forgotten
from Three Early Songs
George Crumb / Sara Teasdale
Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano; Gilbert Kalish, piano
Bridge 9253