Sweet Seraphic Fire

Composer(s): Oliver Holden, William Billings, Abraham Wood, Jacob French, Jacob Kimball, Timothy Swan, Daniel Read, Thomas Baird, Asahel Benham, M. Kyes, Supply Belcher, J. P. Storm, Jeremiah Ingalls, Lucius Chapin, Southern Harmony, M. L. Swan, Roland Hutchinson, Bruce Randall, Stephen Marini, Dennis O'Brien, Glen Wright, Hal Kunkel
Album Title: Sweet Seraphic Fire: New England Singing School Music from The Norumbega Harmony 
Cat. No.: 80640
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 08/2005
Description: New England Singing School Music from The Norumbega Harmony

Norumbega Harmony, Stephen Marini, Singing Master

Sweet Seraphic Fire brings together two unique bodies of American sacred song: choral compositions from the New England singing-school tradition and the most popular Evangelical Protestant hymn texts in historic American use. In the late eighteenth century the New England singing-school movement produced America's first great sacred-music style, employing several genres of unaccompanied four-part choral compositions with the melody in the lead (tenor) part. The enormous popularity of singing-school music also promoted a canon of hymn texts shared across America's competing Evangelical Protestant denominations. This recording contains neglected masterworks from the New England singing school that also helped to create the American hymn canon. Marking a more recent turn in this process, we have also included some new settings of traditional Evangelical lyrics written by leaders in the revival of singing-school music that has blossomed in the Northeast since 1976. Selection of pieces (35) for this recording was determined by correlating The Norumbega Harmony-our collection of one hundred six historic New England singing-school compositions and thirty contemporary works in traditional style-with a list of the three hundred most frequently printed hymn texts in America from 1737 to 1960. -Stephen Marini

New Canaan (Oliver Holden), Maryland (William Billings), Bethlehem (William Billings), Lynn (Oliver Holden) Funeral Hymn (Oliver Holden), An Anthem for Easter (William Billings), Walpole (Abraham Wood), Beauty (Jacob French), Happiness (Jacob French), Woburn (Jacob Kimball), Montague (Timothy Swan), Newport (Daniel Read), Hatfield (Thomas Baird), Attention (Asahel Benham [?]),Crucifixion (M. Kyes), Mechias (James Lyon), St. Paul's (Supply Belcher), Transition (Supply Belcher), Jubilant (Supply Belcher), The Lilly (Supply Belcher), Buckfield (Abraham Maxim), Pennsylvania (Nehemiah Shumway), Sounding Joy (J. P. Storm), Redemption (Jeremiah Ingalls), Consolation (Lucius Chapin), Liberty-Hall (Lucius Chapin), The Babe of Bethlehem (Southern Harmony), Convoy (M. L. Swan), Hallelujah New (Roland Hutchinson), Nativity (Bruce Randall), Cortona (M. R. Truelsen), Great Divide (Stephen Marini), Arinello (Dennis O'Brien), Ev'ry String Awake (Glen Wright), Ten Thousand Charms (Hal Kunkel) 
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