Ungar & Mason
3 mins 30 secs
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, French Horn in F, Bassoon
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The Ashokan Farewell became well known as part of the soundtrack for the film The Civil War, winning a Grammy and being nominated for an Emmy award in 1982.
Listen to an extract:
Jay Ungar (b. 1946) and his wife Molly Mason (m. 1991) are a well known musical duo who’s music tradition is based on the American acoustic genre. As well as performing concerts and compiling albums of their music, they have provided the sound track to several films, most notably The Civil War by Ken Burns, a biopic of that terrible conflict between Northern and Southern American states. They also run Music and Dance Camps at the Ashokan Centre in a setting of wilderness alongside several woods, the Catskills mountains and the Ashokan reservoir, a hundred or so miles North of New York. The Ashokan Farewell is thought by many people to be a song of the American Civil War (1861- 1865) but is in fact a much more recent composition, Jay producing it in 1982. He wrote the ‘waltz’ at the end of a Music and Dance course that had been so memorable. It became well known when film maker Ken Burns selected it as the sound track for his American Civil War film, winning a Grammy and being nominated for an Emmy award. The most haunting version of this song features a solo violin joined by an acoustic guitar and string bass. This version features a solo flute at the beginning and end of the piece. It seems to lend itself to the wind quintet well, I hope you enjoy playing it.