Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Amazing Grace / Custer La Rue, Baltimore Consort


Release Date: 05/01/2001 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 90296   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalLeonard P. BreedloveHenry F. ChandlerJeremiah Ingalls,   ... 
Performer:  Custer LaRueMark CudekMary Anne BallardRonn McFarlane
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


We haven't heard from soprano Custer LaRue for awhile, but it's certainly a treat to hear her again, doing what she does best. That is, singing all by herself the original songs of American folk, songs that require the simple yet heartfelt interpretations of a clear, expressive, characterful voice and that benefit from the knowing technique of a learned, experienced singer. Of course, she's not quite alone here: she's got the best set of instrumental partners one could hope for in this repertoire, all of them her long-time Baltimore Consort colleagues. Their chosen program this time focuses on a rich repertoire that's often neglected because of modern society's strange fear of "offending"
Read more anyone with Christian ideas, music, or symbols (while at the same time happily embracing and defending almost any other, non-Christian religious views and practices). These are the songs that cemented early American culture, around which whole groups of formerly persecuted congregations gathered, and through which a then-common belief was shared. The tunes still live because they're memorable; the words still speak meaningfully because, even in their occasional quaintness or high-mindedness they address the real concerns of a basic human quest.


The songs come from many sources, and as we read Mary Anne Ballard's detailed and always informative notes, we learn that no one knows for sure when these texts and tunes first came together. In the earliest days they were passed around by ear and not by means of printed hymnals familiar to us today. We also learn that many of the original "folk hymns" and "religious ballads" were sung unharmonized, and it's nice to hear them here in this form, but with very colorful and sensitive support from lute, cittern, bandora, rebec, and viols.


You may know some of these songs--and there's an incredible variety among the 18 selections--but chances are, with two or three exceptions, you won't. You most certainly will be impressed with the level of musicianship and with the imagination and range of the accompaniments. In fact, after hearing the two songs "Hold On" (which contains the roots of that wonderful Peter Paul & Mary song "Mornin' Train") and the following "Good Old Way", you easily find yourself imagining these musicians cutting loose into some real down 'n' dirty blues! Along those lines, you may wish for a little more vocal grit--to match the cittern/bandora accompaniment--in LaRue's too rich and too centered "Poor Wayfaring Stranger". But she turns that same pureness and lovely expressive quality to full advantage in her moving, unaccompanied rendition of Amazing Grace, the disc's closing track, leaving us not only with this profound expression of its author's spiritual enlightenment, but with the impression wrought by one who herself seems to truly believe what she's singing.


LaRue's voice shows an occasional worn edge--but whether this is an intentional expression of the music and text or the result of natural vocal changes is impossible to tell. The excellent sound comes not from this group's previously favored venue, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY, but rather from Dorian's equally superb and increasingly-utilized location at the Domaine Forget in Saint-Irénée, Quebec.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Amazing Grace by Traditional
Performer:  Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Hark, I hear the harp eternal by Traditional
Performer:  Mark Cudek (Cittern), Mary Anne Ballard (Bass Viola da gamba), Ronn McFarlane (Lute),
Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Wondrous love by Traditional
Performer:  Custer LaRue (Soprano), Ronn McFarlane (Lute), Mark Cudek (Lute),
Mary Anne Ballard (Treble Vla da gamba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Wayfaring stranger by Traditional
Performer:  Custer LaRue (Soprano), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora), Mark Cudek (Cittern)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
5.
The Cross of Christ by Leonard P. Breedlove
Performer:  Ronn McFarlane (Lute), Custer LaRue (Soprano), Mark Cudek (Bass Viola da gamba),
Mary Anne Ballard (Treble Vla da gamba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
Female Convict by Traditional
Performer:  Ronn McFarlane (Lute), Custer LaRue (Soprano), Mark Cudek (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Down in the garden by Traditional
Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard (Bass Viola da gamba), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora), Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Come brothers and sisters by Traditional
Performer:  Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Death 'tis a melancholy day by Traditional
Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard (Treble Vla da gamba), Mark Cudek (Bass Viola da gamba), Ronn McFarlane (Lute),
Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Hark, my soul by Traditional
Performer:  Mark Cudek (Lute), Ronn McFarlane (Lute), Custer LaRue (Soprano),
Mary Anne Ballard (Rebec)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
The little family by Traditional
Performer:  Ronn McFarlane (Lute), Custer LaRue (Soprano), Mark Cudek (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Ronn McFarlane
This arrangement incorporates the early Scottish tune "Woe betyde my wearie bodie." 
12.
Wedlock by Henry F. Chandler
Performer:  Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
13.
Heavenly contention by Jeremiah Ingalls
Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard (Treble Vla da gamba), Mark Cudek (Cittern), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1805; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14.
Hold on by Traditional
Performer:  Mark Cudek (Bass Viola da gamba), Custer LaRue (Soprano), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora),
Mary Anne Ballard (Rebec)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
15.
Good old way by Traditional
Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard (Treble Vla da gamba), Mark Cudek (Bass Viola da gamba), Ronn McFarlane (Lute),
Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
16.
Come friends and relations by Traditional
Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard (Bass Viola da gamba), Mark Cudek (Cittern), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora),
Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
17.
Frozen Heart by E.J. King
Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard (Rebec), Mark Cudek (Cittern), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora),
Custer LaRue (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1844; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: English 
18.
St. Patrick's Day by Traditional
Performer:  Mark Cudek (Cittern), Ronn McFarlane (Bandora), Mary Anne Ballard (Rebec)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
Written: Ireland 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall, Quebec 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Frozen Heart
Wondrous Love
Come Brothers and Sisters
Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal
Death 'tis a Melancholy Day
Female Convict
Down in the Garden
Hark, My Soul
The Little Family
Wedlock
Old-Fashioned Bible
Cross of Christ
Heavenly Contention
Hold On
Good Old Way
Come Friends and Relations
Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Amazing Grace

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In