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