Monday evening Ashley and I presented a lecture recital on Spirituals. We discussed and performed Go Down Moses, Deep River, and Wade in the Water. We talked a bit about the history of the Spiritual, and tried to present the context of what was happening at the time of their development. We also talked about possible deeper meanings within the works - of course on the surface Spirituals appear to be songs based on biblical stories, but it seems plausible that they also had meaning related to the underground railroad and the Slaves' journey for freedom.
We transcribed the Harry T. Burleigh arrangements (voice & piano) for saxophone and piano and had a great time working on these songs. There is so much depth and beauty in these works, and so much to consider in terms of the texts, the music, and how they complement each other. Hopefully I will have a video clip to post soon. In the meantime, enjoy a recording of your favorite Spiritual today and be appreciative for these wonderful songs!