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Simple Gifts / Fullington, The Tudor Choir


Release Date: 04/14/2009 
Label:  Gothic Records   Catalog #: 49265   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph BrackettHammond, Thomas, Jr.Susanna BradyTraditional,   ... 
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SIMPLE GIFTS Doug Fullington, cond; Tudor Ch GOTHIC 49265 (59:35 &)


Choruses and arrangements by BRACKETT, HAMMOND, jr., BRADY, SIEGFRIED, BILLINGS, NEAUM, POSTON, THOMSON, COPLAND, fine, Ireland, VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, PERCIVAL, RUTTER, FULLINGTON, CHILCOTT, TRAD


The Tudor Choir is a Seattle-based chamber chorus of 12 voices, whose recording on Loft of Shaker music, in arrangements by Kevin Siegfried, Craig Zeichner Read more “implored” us to buy (25:1). This recording is intended as a complement to that earlier one, and offers slightly more varied fare, all of it from the same musical and emotional neighborhood, however. The choir uses little vibrato and its fairly bright sound lets the sopranos stick out at the cost of the altos, though this is in part because there are only two altos but four sopranos. The choir sings cleanly and articulates clearly, and that is always a plus, even if one wishes there were a bit more heft now and then.


The core of this program is Shaker music, though only one Shaker piece is done in the unison we take to be the Shaker style, and that is the title piece (which, however, uses a variant of the melody we best know in Aaron Copland’s use of it in Appalachian Spring ). These words, and three different arrangements of it, by Kevin Siegfried, Copland (as further arranged by Irving Fine), and Bob Chilcott (for the King’s Singers), recur throughout the program. These are certainly more polished versions of Shaker tunes than those exhibited on Joel Cohen’s more scholarly recording with the same title (on Erato), done in the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community.


The major piece on the program is At the water’s edge , a setting by Kevin Siegfried of four poems by Sarah Orne Jewett. Commissioned in 2005 by the community chorus of South Berwick, Maine, where Jewett lived, these are gentle, largely consonant, nature settings, though the third, in five parts, ventures some discreet dissonance. They are similar in style with the rest of the program.


This matter of stylistic coherence is one of the striking features of this recording. Most of the arrangements are by Siegfried, and those by others share similar traits. That is, they tend to adopt the scale-structure of the melody being arranged. This was a technique demonstrated to great effect by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker in their arrangements of spirituals, which, like a number of the tunes here, have “gapped scales,” that is, scales that are incomplete somewhere within them.


This is a fine recording and I think Siegfried’s unfussy Jewett settings are certainly worth getting to know. They are a solid, mainstream, contribution to the modern American choral repertoire.


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1. Simple gifts by Joseph Brackett
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Written: USA 
Notes: Arranger: Bob Chilcott. 
2. The humble heart by Hammond, Thomas, Jr.
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Notes: Arranger: Kevin Siegfried. 
3. Star of purity by Susanna Brady
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Notes: Arranger: Kevin Siegfried. 
4. All at home by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Notes: Arranger: Kevin Siegfried. 
5. I am the rose of Sharon by William Billings
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1778; USA 
6. I wish I was a child again by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Notes: Arranger: Michael Neaum. 
7. Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elisabeth Poston
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
8. My Shepherd will Supply my Need by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959 
9. Old American Songs, Set 1: Simple Gifts by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
10. Old American Songs, Set 2: Zion's Walls by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
11. The Hills by John Ireland
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
12. At the water's edge by Kevin Siegfried
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
13. The Pilgrim's progress: The Woodcutter's Song by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; England 
14. O taste and see by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
15. Mystical Songs (5): no 4, The call by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
Notes: Arranger: Allan Percival. 
16. Loving Shepherd of thy sheep by John Rutter
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
17. One thing have I desired by Doug Fullington
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir

Sound Samples

Simple Gifts, "'Tis the Gift To Be Simple"
The Humble Heart (arr. K. Siegfried)
Star of Purity (arr. K. Siegfried)
All at Home [Shaker Song] (arr. K. Siegfried)
Simple Gifts (arr. K. Siegfried)
I Am the Rose of Sharon
I Wish I Was a Child Again (arr. M. Neaum)
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (arr. V. Thomson)
Simple Gifts (arr. A. Copland)
Zion's walls (arr. A. Copland)
The Hills
At the Water's Edge: I. Top of the Hill
At the Water's Edge: II. Boat Song
At the Water's Edge: III. In Restless Waves
At the Water's Edge: IV. The Eagle Trees
He That is Down Need Fear No Fall (arr. B. Judge)
O Taste and See
The Call (arr. P. Allen)
Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep
One Thing Have I Desired
Simple Gifts (arr. B. Chilcott)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 beautifully nostalgic November 12, 2013 By rosande c. (miami, FL) See All My Reviews "crystal clear voices, a piercing purity, perfect instrumentals and rather calming and soothing. thank you for providing sound samples, this has made all the difference and hastened purchase." Report Abuse
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