Songs & Spirituals
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Classic spiritual settings in authoritative performances.

In January of 1892 when Harry T. Burleigh, the 25 year old African-American baritone from Erie, Pennsylvania, arrived in New York City to audition for a place at the National Conservatory of Music, few could have guessed how significantly this young man would affect the course of American music. His influence on Antonin Dvorak, who served as Director of the conservatory during three of Burleigh's four years of study, is reflected in Dvorak's use of African-American musical elements in his New World Symphony and his other American compositions. Burleigh's vibrant singing of plantations songs and spirituals, alongside the traditional recital repertoire, gave Americans accustomed to minstrel performances new aural images of African-American culture. By the second decade of this century, his secular art songs were being sung by some of the most distinguished international artists. And when he began to publish choral and solo arrangements of spirituals (in 1913 and 1916, respectively), he pioneered in bringing a distinctive African-American voice into the American choral and art song repertoire, making these sorrow songs accessible to singers of all national and ethnic backgrounds. Although he did not formally study with Dvorak, he spent many hours in Dvorak's home singing the songs he learned from his grandfather. The composer often interrupted him to ask about specific music idioms such as the flatted seventh, and asked "hundreds of questions" about the lives of slaves. The hours Burleigh spent discussing music with Dvorak and working as his music copyist profoundly affected him. Dvorak's interest in African-American music, his personal encouragement of Burleigh's own composition, and his demonstration of a sophisticated approach to the use of folk music as a creative resource, inspired Burleigh to work throughout his career to preserve the slave songs. Ultimately, he committed himself to fulfilling Dvorak's challenge to "give those melodies to the world."
Contents:
Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Deep River
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Lovely Dark and Lonely One
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Dry Bones
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Wade In De Water
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Ethopia Saluting The Colors
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
The Dove And The Lily
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Exile
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Stan' Still, Jordan
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Little Mother Of Mine
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Don't You Weep When I'm Gone
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
The Spring, My Dear, Is No Longer Spring
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Oh! Rock Me, Julie
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
The Soldier
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Mammy's Li'l Baby
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Hear De Lambs A-Cryin'
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
The Trees Have Grown So
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Thy Heart
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Hard Trials
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

Harry T. Burleigh, composer
Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?
Oral Moses, bass-baritone, Ann Sears, piano

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