The Haymakers: An Operatic Cantata
The Haymakers North Texas State University Grand Chorus/Frank McKinley; Erma Rose, piano When The Haymakers was performed in Chicago in 1860, the Tribune for January 9 praised: ... the freshness of its music, which, combined with the naturalness of the plot, depicts with great truthfulness, while it slightly idealizes, the labors of the American hayfield.... The Italian opera walks on stilts, deals in exaggeration, and treats largely of kings, queens, dukes, and nobles. This is purely democratic, exalts labor, ridicules the useless city dandy, and holds up for your admiration the sturdy Farmer and his household, who learn from nature, the pure, the true, the beautiful.... Making its first appearance on CD, The Haymakers is an integral and indispensable part of the mosaic of the emerging American musical culture of the nineteenth century. It is a secular dramatic cantata on an American subject and was written in 1857, when large-scale American works were not yet supposed to have developed. It is the best-wrought and was the most successful of the five penned by George F. Root (1820-1895), remembered primarily for rousing Civil War songs like "The Battle Hymn of Freedom" and parlor songs modeled on those of Stephen Foster. Root was also a highly regarded choral instructor as well as an accomplished singer. Musically, The Haymakers reflects his intimate knowledge of the vocal and choral music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Schubert, among others. Charm and a robust vitality of spirit imbue this unusual and important piece of early Americana-a paean to the rugged individual spirit of a young nation struggling to assert its own cultural identity.

University of North Texas Grand Chorus

The Haymakers: An Operatic Cantata

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Track Listing

Good Morning
George F. Root
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How Pleasant Are Those Cheerful Words
George F. Root
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Blithely Go We Forth
George F. Root
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Light Hearted Are We
George F. Root
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How Like Some Tented Camp
George F. Root
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Joy!
George F. Root
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Scenes of Happiness
George F. Root
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The Dew Now Is Off
George F. Root
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Toss It Hither
George F. Root
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Hark To the Cheerful Sound
George F. Root
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How Good Is He, the Giver
George F. Root
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How Sultry Is the Day
George F. Root
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How Hushed
George F. Root
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Yes! To the Work
George F. Root
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Now Creaks the Heavy Wagon
George F. Root
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Shrouded Is the Sun
George F. Root
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Lo! The Clouds are Breaking
George F. Root
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Rainbow, Hail to Thee
George F. Root
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All Nature Now Rejoices
George F. Root
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With Grateful Hearts
George F. Root
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Harvest Home!
George F. Root
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