"The CD not only celebrates ragtime but a wide swath of historical, distinctly American material from a Cape Cod sea chantey to the cowboy laments...The recording is full of treasures."
-- Beverly Creasey, Boston Arts Review


This CD takes you on a delightful journey
across the broad American landscape,
with music from the 19th and 20th centuries,
arranged by region, selected and performed
by pianist, Margaret Ulmer,
with Eric Sosman, bass-baritone
and narrator.




Track titles - hear samples (for listening only) by clicking on the links...


America at Sea:
1. Yankee Doodle (Rondo), Op. 4 - Benjamin Carr, 1804

New England Memories:
2. Indian Idyl, Op. 62, No. 6 - Edward MacDowell, 1902                                                             
A Deserted Farm, Op. 51, No. 8 - Edward MacDowell, 1896                  
4. To a Wild Rose,Op. 51, No. 1 - Edward MacDowell, 1896


On The Atlantic Coast:                                                   
5.  Cape Ann – Paul Bowles, 1947                                                                                                       
6.  The Boston Come-All-Ye/ Cape Cod Girls –Traditional*                                                                         
7.  Hands Across the Sea - John Philip Sousa, 1899

In Appalachia:                                                                     
8.  Cindy – arranged by Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1936                                                                 
9.  Turtle Dove –  arr. by Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1936                                                                              
10. Frog Went a-Courtin' –arr. by Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1936                                                              
11. Kentucky Moonshiner – Paul Bowles, 1947                                                                                              
12. Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair – Roy Harris, 1947/ John Jacob Niles, 1936*

Along the Rivers:                                    
13.  Honey  (Humoresque)  –  R. Nathaniel Dett, 1913                                                                               
14.  Ole Tare River – Paul Bowles, 1947                                                                                                             
15.  The Glendy Burk (A Plantation Song) - Stephen Foster, 1860*                                                                                 
16.  Shenandoah – arr. by Celius Dougherty, 1948 - Eric Sosman, bass-baritone

The Missouri Valley:                              
17. Cotton Bolls (Two Step) - Charles H. Hunter, 1901                                                                               
18. Swipesy  (Cake Walk)  – Scott Joplin and Arthur Marshall, 1900

Out West:                                         
19. Sweet Betsy from Pike – arr. by Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1936                                         
20. I Ride an Old Paint –arr. by Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1938                                                   
21. Clarín de Campaña – Mexican folk song, 1847*                                                                     
22. The Maid of Monterey - John Hill Hewitt, 1851*                                                                   
23. Streets of Laredo – Roy Harris, 1947                                                                                                           
24. Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie –  arr. by Earl Robinson,1940/ Elie Siegmeister,1967 *

Civil War Places:               
25. Sheridan’s Ride (Descriptive March Gallop) - E. T. Paull, 1922– Eric Sosman, narrator**
26. Funeral March to the memory of Abraham Lincoln  - Mrs. E. A. Parkhurst, 1865                                       
27. Farewell Father, Friend and Guardian - music: George F. Root, 1865 - Eric Sosman,bass-baritone
(note: read about this poignant official song sung at Abraham Lincoln's funeral in 1865 - click here)


America at Worship:

28. Seven Variations on a Shaker Marching Tune (A Study in Compositional Styles, 1984) –
Roger Lee Hall
(this tune was used during the Shaker dance ritual in their worship)

Theme: Shaker marching tune [shown above in Shaker alphabet music notation]
by Isaac Newton Youngs (1793-1865), from the Shaker community, New Lebanon, New York, 1843
Variation 1: Classical
Variation 2: Romantic
Variation 3: Impressionistic
Variation 4: Bitonal
Variation 5: Quartal
Variation 6: Bimodal
Variation 7: Twelve-Tone

Watch this work performed by pianist, Kathryn Southworth, on YouTube -- click here

* = Improvisations by Margaret Ulmer, piano (Nos. 6, 12, 15, 21, 22, 24)

** = Adaptation by Margaret Ulmer and Eric Sosman (No. 25)

Tracks 21-22, 25-26 are Premiere Piano Recordings

Total Playing Time = 71:24

Executive Album Producer: Roger Lee Hall

CD Cover Artwork: GMH Design

AMRC 0028

Rave comments for this CD!

The CD not only celebrates ragtime but a wide swath of historical, distinctly American material from a Cape Cod sea chantey to the cowboy laments of the California territories… with composers from Edward MacDowell whose reverent, painterly New England Memories evoke a solitary country walk, to Roger Lee Hall’s remarkably inventive, surprisingly impressionistic, Seven Variations on a Shaker Marching Tune, which bring Debussy to mind. The recording is full of treasures: folk arrangements by Ruth Crawford Seeger, compositions by Stephen Foster and Paul Bowles and achingly sad settings for the familiar western songs, "Streets of Laredo" and "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie."
-- Beverly Creasey, Boston Arts Review

A wonderful program!
-- Aloma Bardi (ICAMus Founder and President)

Mike and I listened to your "American Places" CD, while driving through the White Mountains at the end of August. Was very appropriate to hear in nature's majesty. My favorite piece was track 6, "The Boston Come-all-ye - Cape Cod Girls."
-- Jill Anderson Richards

I am listening right now to some of the selections -- delightful!
Best of luck with this new CD.

-- Melanie Mitrano (classical and jazz singer)

The MacDowell caught my attention first.  I see them as miniature tone poems that Margaret Ulmer has beautifully understood and expressed, I think, what the composer was after.  Oddly, our family has been vacationing in the Cape Ann area the last two summers and when I heard the recording, it was like being transported in time and space.  Liked the rags and the Streets of Laredo.  I have a long commute home every day, so I have been listening to the Shaker Variations at least once a day.  I wanted you to know that I have really enjoyed listening to them! They deserve to be heard as much as possible. What I can tell you in one word is: Bravo! --Tony Spaccarotella (classical pianist)

"American Places" is an excellent CD. We have enjoyed playing it a few times. It all sounds very good.
-- Jim Wagner  




Composers and arrangers featured on the CD:




pictured Top left to right: Ruth Crawford Seeger and Edward MacDowell
second row left to right: Scott Joplin and John Philip Sousa
third row: Roger Lee Hall


Composers whose music is featured on the CD:

Paul Bowles (1910-1999)
Benjamin Carr (1768-1831)
Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)
Stephen Foster (1826-1864)
Roger Lee Hall (b. 1942)
Roy Harris (1898-1979)
John Hill Hewitt (1801-1890)
Charles H. Hunter (1876-1906)
Scott Joplin (1867-1917)
Edward MacDowell (1860-1908)
Arthur Marshall (1881-1968)
John Jacob Niles (1892-1980)
Susan McFarland Parkhurst (1836-1918)
Edward Taylor Paull (1858-1924)
George Frederick Root (1820-1895)
John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)


Celius Dougherty  (1902-1986)            
Earl Hawley Robinson (1910-1991)
Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953)
Elie Siegmeister (1909-1991)

Composer Sources:

Paul Bowles - Folk Preludes for Piano Solo, Theodore Presser Co.,  1989.
Benjamin Carr - The Siege of Tripoli: An Historical Naval Sonata for the Piano Forte, Op. 4, 1804.
R. Nathaniel Dett – The Collected Piano Works of R. Nathaniel Dett,
Summy-Birchard Company, Evanston, Illinois, 1973.
Celius Dougherty - Folksongs and Chanties, G. Schirmer, Inc., New York, NY, 2004.
Stephen Foster – The Stephen Foster Songbook, Original Sheet Music,
   Selected, with Introduction and Notes by Richard Jackson, Dover Publications, 1974.
Roger Lee Hall – Piano Variations, BKJ Publications,  Newton, Massachusetts, 1984.
Roy Harris - American Ballads for Piano, Carl Fischer, New York, 1947.
Charles H. Hunter – Classic Piano Rags, Selected, with an Introduction by Rudi Blesh,
    Dover Publications, New York, NY, 1973.
Scott Joplin – Collected Piano Works, Vera Brodsky Lawrence, editor,
    New York Public Library, 4th edition, 1981/reprint, Alfred Music, 2015.
Edward MacDowell – Piano Works.  Dover Publications, New York, NY, 1990.
John Jacob Niles – The Songs of John Jacob Niles, G. Schirmer, New York, NY, 1990.
Mrs. E.A. Parkhurst – Funeral March, Horace Waters, New York, NY, 1865.
Edward Taylor Paull – Sheridan’s Ride: A Descriptive March Gallop, E.T. Paull Music Co.,  1922.
George F. Root – Farewell Father, Friend and Guardian, Root & Cady, Chicago, Illinois, 1865.
Ruth Crawford Seeger – Nineteen American Folk Songs for Piano, G. Schirmer, New York, NY , 1995.
John Philip Sousa – Sousa’s Great Marches in Piano Transcriptions,
    Selected, with an Introduction by Lester Levy,  Dover Publications, New York, NY,  1975.

Books and Collections:

Edward Deming Andrews, The Gift to be Simple: Songs, Dances and Rituals of the  
   American Shakers   (J.J. Augustin, 1940/reprint, Dover Publications, 1962/ 1967).

David A. Jasen and Dean Jones. That American Rag, Schirmer Books, New York, NY 2000.
David A. Jasen and Trebor J. Tichenor. Rags and Ragtime, Dover Publications, New York,1978.
Alan Lomax, Folk Songs of North America, Doubleday and Co., Garden City, NY, 1960.
Elie Siegmeister, A Treasury of American Song, Cherry Lane Music Co., Port Chester, NY 1985.
Irwin Silber and Earl Robinson, editors, Songs of the Great American West, Dover Publications,
New York, NY, 1995.


Biographies of the performers on the CD:

Margaret Ulmer, pianist - specializes in folk-based American regional music, ragtime, and the piano music of the composers of Tin Pan Alley and the Great American Songbook. A co-founder and frequent music director of American Classics Concerts, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she has created the ragtime programs Elite Syncopations: That's Ragtime!, The All About Ragtime festival,  and Celebrating Scott Joplin: One Hundred Years of Treemonisha. Ms. Ulmer has also directed music for productions at most of Boston's major repertory theaters and The Berkshire Theater Festival, and has worked with the contemporary music ensembles Boston Musica Viva and Alea III in multimedia opera productions at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and at festivals in Austria, Germany and Greece. An avid improviser, Ulmer was music director of the long-running Proposition Improvisational Revue in Cambridge and New York City and has taught music and theater improvisation workshops in the U.S. and Japan.  Solo piano concerts include Marches Rags and Blues, Ragtime Musique, Sophisticated Ladies, Excursions: America's Musical Landscapes, and Jazz Nocturne.


Eric Sosman, bass-baritone and narrator, - lives in the Boston area and performs in concerts, opera, and musical theater. He has played Oroveso in Bellini's Norma, the Sergeant of Police in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, and the title role in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.  He has appeared as a soloist with American Classics, the Salisbury Singers, and the Boston Academy of Music.


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