Monday, November 15, 2010

Autumn & Thanksgiving listening, continued

In the second half of autumn. there’s gathering in of harvest and looking back toward summer, while heading into the work of winter.

Autumn is a very fine season all on its own, though, with work of transition, and work of connection, work of creation and work of preparation.

As you walk through the season, good musical companions are Hanneke Cassel’s For Reasons Unseen and Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s Harvest Home.

Harvest Home comprises an orchestral piece of that same name, done in collaboration with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (now known as Orchestra Nashville), and a selection of tunes crossing landscapes of place and musical geography of the United States. . Ungar plays the fiddle, Mason is a guitarist, and other musicians you’ve met here along the music road sit in, among them Christine Balfa, John Kirk, Keith Murphy, and Paul Gambill, who conducts the Nashville Chamber orchestra for this outing. It’s a fine collection all around. Haymaker’s Hoedown, Prairie Spring, and Bound for Another Harvest Home are good ways to get an idea of the spirit of things, and you may very likely recognize another original tune, Ashokan Farewell.

Cassel’s album wasn’t designed especially for the harvest time of year, but the music she chooses for it holds a reflective idea, even in the fast paced pieces, that works well with the season. Cassel is a fiddle player, pianist, and composer whose work is grounded in Scottish tradition with dashes of Americana and Irish flavor , and in this case, music she learned while traveling in China, as well. Musicians you’ve crossed paths with along the music road sit in with Cassel too, among them Natalie Haas, Alasdair Fraser, and Lissa Schneckenburger. As is Harvest Home, For Reasons Unseen is an album to listen to all the way through, and with especial note of the Blackberry Meadow Footrace set, The Goat Whisperer, and the Dusky Meadow set.

you may also wish to see

Music Road: harvest time
Music Road: autumn skies

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Vera Marie Badertscher said...

What a lovely collection of music for a mellow Autumn day. Thanks for once again introducing something new to me.

9:22 PM  

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