Pub. Date:
The Civil War [Original TV Soundtrack]

The Civil War [Original TV Soundtrack]




Elektra/Nonesuch scored one of the biggest successes of the classical specialty label's history with this soundtrack to the Ken Burns public television series The Civil War. More a multi-artist compilation than an actual "soundtrack" in the formal sense, the album is filled with low-key highlights from the series -- Jay Ungar's "Ashokan Farewell" is the most familiar of the material that was new to most listeners, but it was surrounded by fare such as "Battle Cry of Freedom," "Bonnie Blue Flag," "Dixie," "Hail Columbia," and "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which will certainly be known, at least by memory, to anyone who attended school in the United States before 1967 or so. There's also some representation of spirituals, most notably "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder." There are some full-band performances here ("Yankee Doodle," "Parade") and a few tunes featured in more than one incarnation (most notably "Marching Through Georgia"), but the overall thrust of this soundtrack is toward the small-scale and intimate in terms of sound and arrangements -- it's a far cry from the mostly upbeat Civil War song compilations that appeared in the late '50s and the start of the 1960s, in the run up to the war's centenary. Less is more seems to have been the operating theory behind the music, which makes it more enduring as a listening experience -- subtlety being a hallmark of the music -- and a strong tug on the conscience and the intellect. And the final track, "Ashokan Farewell/Sullivan Ballou Letter," the latter read by Paul Roebling, can bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened listener.

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Product Details

Release Date: 12/29/1990
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597925623
catalogNumber: 79256
Rank: 192691


  1. Drums of War
  2. Oliver Wendell Holmes
  3. Ashokan Farewell
  4. Battle Cry of Freedom
  5. We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder
  6. Dixie/Bonnie Blue Flag
  7. Cheer Boys Cheer
  8. Angel Band
  9. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
  10. Lorena
  11. Parade
  12. Hail Columbia
  13. Dixie
  14. Kingdom Coming
  15. Battle Hymn of the Republic
  16. All Quiet on the Potomac
  17. Flag of Columbia
  18. Weeping, Sad and Lonely
  19. Yankee Doodle
  20. Palmyra Schottische
  21. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  22. Shenandoah
  23. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  24. Marching Through Georgia
  25. Marching Through Georgia (Lament)
  26. Battle Cry of Freedom
  27. Battle Hymn of the Republic
  28. Ashokan Farewell/Sullivan Ballou Letter

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Russ Barenberg   Guitar,Track Performer
Bernice Johnson Reagon   Vocals,Track Performer
Matt Glaser   Fiddle,Track Performer
Bobby Horton   Guitar,Track Performer
Art Baron   Euphonium,Track Performer
Jesse Carr   Recorder,Track Performer
John Levy   Cello,Track Performer
Molly Mason   Guitar,Track Performer
David McCullough   Narrator,Track Performer
Jacqueline Schwab   Piano,Track Performer
Evan Stover   Fiddle,Track Performer
Jay Ungar   Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin,Track Performer
John Colby   Piano,Track Performer
Paul Roebling   Voices,Track Performer
Peter Amidon   Banjo,Track Performer
Peggy James   Fiddle,Track Performer
Yonatin Malin   Flute
Old Bethpage Brass Band   Track Performer
New American Brass Band   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir   Contributor
Bernice Johnson Reagon   Producer
Fiddle Fever   Producer
Bobby Horton   Producer
Ken Burns   Producer,Liner Notes
Michael Golub   Engineer
Paul Goodman   Engineer
Toshi Reagon   Producer
Billy Shaw   Engineer
Jay Ungar   Producer
Don Wershba   Engineer
Scott Hull   Engineer
John Colby   Producer,Contributor
Julie Dunfey   Producer
Kirby Jolly   Director
Jewel T. Thompson   Director
William Steffe   Composer
Julia Ward Howe   Composer
Robert Sheldon   Director

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