Music: Spirituals

Marian Anderson

This beloved 1956 album, reissued for the first time on CD with nine bonus tracks, is an immortal testament to the power of absolute simplicity--and absolute conviction. Anderson needed no candy-coated angelic choirs or flossy orchestral arrangements to fill such noble songs of sorrow and hope as Deep River and Crucifixion with throbbing life. All it took was one contralto voice, deep-toned and devastatingly straightforward, accompanied in no-nonsense fashion by pianist Franz Rupp. Spirituals is the real right thing.

--By Terry Teachout

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