Softly Awakes My Heart: Very Best Of (CD)

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Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Music critic Alan Blyth said: "Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty." Most of her singing career was spent performing in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965. Although offered roles with many important European opera companies, Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred to perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.

Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955.

“A voice like yours only comes once in 100 years” (Toscanini) “not a voice, but a cello!”(Sir Anthony Pappano) ‘a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty’ (A.Blyth).
In 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution refused Anderson (who had returned in triumph from Europe) permission to sing to an integrated audience. The incident threw her into the international spotlight … With the aid of President F.D and Mrs.Roosevelt, she thrilled 75,000 people in concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC (and a radio audience in the millions)” [TIME 76:33]

1. Caro mio ben (Giordani) with Orchestral Accompaniment. Rec.1930 3.27

2. Plaisir d’amour (Martini) with Orchestral Accompaniment. Rec.1930 3.38

3. Ave Maria (Schubert) Rec.1936 4.51

4. He Shall Feed His Flock (Messiah:Handel:Jenner)

with Victor Symphony Orchestra conducted Charles O’Connell. Rec.1941 4.04

5. Softly Awakes My Heart (Samson et Dalila:Saint-Saens:Lemaire) 4.50

6. Tonight Seeking Hither My Presence…O Love from Thy Power

(Samon et Dalila) (both) with Orchestra / Lawrance Collingwood.Rec 1930. 4.19

7. Die Forelle (The Trout) (Schubert). Rec.1936 1.53

8. Standchen (Serenade) (Schubert:Rellstab). Rec.1950 3.55

9. Der Tod und das Mädchen (Schubert:Claudius) Rec.1936 2.57

10. Der Nussbaum (Schumann:Mosen). Rec.1945 3.12

11. My Lord what a Morning (Trad.arr.Burleigh). Rec.1947 3.23

12. Oh! What a Beautiful City (Trad.arr.Boatner) Rec.1942 2.10

13. Go Down Moses (Let My People Go) (Trad.arr.Burleigh). Rec.1936 2.54

14. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (Trad.arr.Brown). Rec.1942 3.37

15. My Soul’s Been Anchored in The Lord (Trad.arr.Price). Rec.1941 1.48

16. He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands (Trad.arr.Forrest). Rec.1951 2.00

17. Were You there when they Crucified my Lord? (Trad.arr.Burleigh).1936. 3.22

18. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (Trad.arr.Brown) Rec.1941 3.00

19. Everytime I Feel De Spirit (Trad.arr.Brown) Rec.1952 1.31

20. (a) Lord I can’t stay Away/(b) Heaven, Heaven (I Got a Robe)

(a) (Trad.arr.Hayes) (b) (Trad.arr.Burleigh) Rec.1936 4.13

21. Crucifixion (He never said a Mumblin’ Word)(Trad.arr.Payne) 1941. 3.58

22. Deep River (Trad.arr.Burleigh) Rec.1938 3.06

23. The Star-Spangled Banner (Lincoln Memorial) (Key/Smith) 1.42

24. My Country, ‘tis of Thee (Lincoln Memorial) (Trad, arr Carey/Smith) 0.55

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