Five suites of early American hymns in new settings for a cappella mixed chorus.
As modes of worship developed in early America, so too did their song. With Sweet Manna, gifted composer, conductor, and teacher Alice Parker gives us a glimpse into the past with new settings of early American shape-note songs found in songbooks published between 1790 and 1830.
From cheerful gathering songs like "My God, the Spring of All My Joy" and reflective pieces such as "From Deep Distress and Troubled Thoughts," to the joyous march of "My Soul, Triumphant in the Lord" and the familiar strains of "Brethren, We Have Met to Worship" (HOLY MANNA), Sweet Manna echoes the lives and the faith of early settlers.
All songs in this collection keep the original combination of tune and text found in the sourcebooks, and are beautifully arranged by Alice Parker. The majority of texts are hymns of Issac Watts, while tunes are mostly from anonymous sources.
Sweet Manna, however, is best described in Alice Parker's own words, "Barn dances and laments, love songs and lullabies, [these songs] speak directly to us over the intervening centuries, telling us once again to 'fill our tongues with praise.' "