Thursday, 27 October 2011

Jay Ungar - Ashokan Farewell

From Wikipedia:

Jay Ungar (born November 14, 1946) is an American folk musician and composer. In 1991, Ungar married fellow musician Molly Mason, whom he had first met during the 1970s, and they continue to perform together.

"Ashokan Farewell" is a piece of music composed by Jay Ungar in 1982. It was later used as the title theme of the 1990 PBS television miniseries, The Civil War, as well as the 1991 compilation album, Songs of the Civil War.

The piece is a waltz in D major, written in the style of a Scottish lament (e.g., Niel Gow's "Lament for his second wife"). The most famous arrangement of the piece begins with a solo violin, later accompanied by guitar.

Before its use as the television series theme, "Ashokan Farewell" was recorded on Waltz of the Wind, the second album by the band Fiddle Fever. The musicians included Ungar and his wife, Molly Mason, who gave the tune its name.

In 1984, filmmaker Ken Burns heard "Ashokan Farewell" and was moved by it. He used it in two of his films: The Civil War, which features the original recording by Fiddle Fever in the beginning of the film, and his 1985 documentary Huey Long.

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