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Debut - American Anthem - From Ragtime To Art Song / Gunn


Release Date: 05/18/1999 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 73160   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalJay GorneyNed RoremGene Scheer,   ... 
Performer:  Nathan GunnKevin Murphy
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Opera singers venturing into non-classical territory can easily produce embarrassing results: mannered, over-inflected performances that betray the spirit of the music. Fortunately, Nathan Gunn has the kind of voice, the technique, and the sensibility to persuasively put across the variety of American music on this collection, which includes folk songs, Tin Pan Alley, cabaret songs, art songs, and contemporary pop-influenced ballads. Gunn's baritone has the flexibility to embody the refinement required by the songs by Barber and Copland, the ruggedness that suits Brother, can you spare a dime?, and the unaffected simplicity appropriate for the folk songs, such as Shenandoah and The lass from the low countree. Gunn's voice is full-bodied and Read more distinctively masculine, with a ringing top and plenty of solidity at the lowest reaches. Equally at home in the various styles, Gunn invests each with the right character. He brings freshness and depth of feeling to the standard recital fare, such as Barber's Nocturne and Sure on this shining night and selections from Copland's Old American Songs, and a sly whimsicality to Bolcom's Fur and Black Max. Ives' General William Booth enters into Heaven is somewhat reserved; Gunn doesn't have quite have the rambunctious abandon to unleash its full madcap theatricality. Contemporary new art song is strongly represented with works by John Musto and Gene Scheer; Musto's lovely, wistful, witty setting of Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Recuerdo" is a standout. Pianist Kevin Murphy provides an energetic and responsive accompaniment. EMI's sound is clean, lively, and present.

-- All Music Guide
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Works on This Recording

1. Shenandoah by Traditional
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Lee Musiker 
2. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? by Jay Gorney
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
3. Early in the morning by Ned Rorem
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
4. The Lordly Hudson by Ned Rorem
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
5. At Howard Hawks' House by Gene Scheer
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Lee Musiker 
6. Holding Each Other by Gene Scheer
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Lee Musiker 
7. The lass from the low country by John Jacob Niles
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
8. Recuerdo by John Musto
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
9. Four Songs, Op. 13: 1. Nocturne by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1937-1940 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: English 
10. Songs (4), Op. 13: no 3, Sure on this Shining Night by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
11. Slugging a Vampire by Charles Ives
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 0 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
12. Two Little Flowers by Charles Ives
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
13. General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Charles Ives
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
14. Two songs of innocence: no 1, The Lamb by Lee Hoiby
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
15. I wonder as I wander by John Jacob Niles
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
16. Old American Songs, Set 2: At the River by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
17. Old American Songs, Set 1: Long Time Ago by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
18. Lean Away by Gene Scheer
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone), Kevin Murphy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Andrew Thomas 
19. American Anthem by Gene Scheer
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Lee Musiker 
20. Cabaret Songs (12), Vol 1 and 2: no 2, Fur (Murray the Furrier) by William Bolcom
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1985; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: English 
21. Cabaret Songs (12), Vol 1 and 2: no 1, Over the Piano by William Bolcom
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1985; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
22. Cabaret Songs (12), Vol 1 and 2: no 5, Song of Black Max by William Bolcom
Performer:  Kevin Murphy (Piano), Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1985; USA 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Shenandoah (arr. Lee Musiker)
Brother can you spare a dime (E. Y. Harburg)
Early in the Morning (Robert Hilyer)
The Lordly Hudson (Paul Goodman)
At Howard Hawk's House (Gene Scheer, piano arr. Lee Musiker)
Holding Each Other (Gene Scheer, piano arr. Lee Musiker)
The Lass from the Low Countree (text adapted by John Jacob Niles)
Recuerdo (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Nocturne, Op. 13/4 (Frederic Prokosch)
Sure on This Shining Night (James Agee)
Fur (Murray the Furrier) (Arnold Weinstein)
Over the Piano (Arnold Weinstein)
Black Max (As Told by the de Kooning Boys) (Arnold Weinstein)
Two Little Flowers (and dedicated to them) (Charles Ives)
General William Booth Enters Into Heaven (from a poem by Vachel Lindsay)
The Lamb (William Blake)
I wonder as I wander (Appalachian Carol adapted/arranged John Jacob Niles & Lewis Henry Horton
At the River (Hymn tune arr. Aaron Copland from Old American Songs)
Long Time Ago (folksong arr. Aaron Copland from Old American Songs set 1)
Lean Away (Gene Scheer, arr. Andrew Thomas)
American Anthem (Gene Scheer, piano arrangement Lee Musiker)

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