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Southern Harmony Songs - Volume One

  • Premiere: November 7, 2007 / Andrew Ryker, baritone; Brett Hodgdon, piano / Church of St. John the Evangelist /Boston

  • Instrumentation: Medium Voice & Piano 

  • Duration: 9'

  • Texts: collected by William Walker in The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion


Program Note


My first songs - completed in 2007 in Newton, Massachusetts - are four settings of familiar hymn tunes from William Walker's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. 


Wondrous Love - Text attributed to Alexander Means (1801-1883); Tune attributed to "Christopher."  Likely the most familiar in the set, this song develops in a canon. The voice trails the accompaniment by a measure in each successive verse, creating a simple counterpoint. 


Star in the East - Text by Reginald Heber (1783 - 1826) This Christmas song utilizes a flowing accompianment reminiscent of the English choral tradition.  


Consolation - Text by Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748), tune attributed to "Dean."  The tune and a countermelody switch positions and weave through the accompaniment in this morning prayer.


Holy Manna - Text by George Atkins (1793-1827); Tune by William More.  This song captures the rollicking nature of a revival-type atmosphere, complete with hints of bluegrass and an at-times bombastic accompaniment.    


William Walker

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