Julia Wolfe – Anthracite Fields (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Julia Wolfe – Anthracite Fields (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 59:38 minutes | 629 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Cantaloupe Music

Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anthracite Fields”, an oratorio for chorus and instruments, commemorates the Pennsylvania coal miners whose work fueled the industrial revolution. Drawing from oral histories, interviews, speeches, local rhymes and featuring the rich instrumental sounds of the region, “Anthracite Fields” provides an intimate look at a particular slice of American life. After extensive research about life in the Pennsylvania coal fields where the purest form of coal, anthracite, is found, Wolfe uncovered a complex world of political battles and deep cultural expressions.

Haunting, poignant and relentlessly physical, Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields is a lovingly detailed oratorio about turn-of-the-20th-century Pennsylvania coal miners, and a fitting recipient of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music. NPR Music’s Tom Huizenga describes the piece as “…almost a public history project and a music project at the same time,” which hints at the work’s universal appeal.

Weaving together personal interviews that she conducted with miners and their families, along with oral histories, speeches, rhymes and local mining lore, Wolfe sought to honor the working lives of Pennsylvania’s anthracite region. “It’s not necessarily mainstream history,” she told NPR shortly after she received word of winning the Pulitzer. “The politics are very fascinating—the issues about safety, and the consideration for the people who are working and what’s involved in it. But I didn’t want to say, ‘Listen to this. This is a big political issue.’ It really was, ‘Here’s what happened. Here’s this life, and who are we in relationship to that?’ We’re them. They’re us. And basically, these people, working underground, under very dangerous conditions, fueled the nation. That’s very important to understand.”

Featuring the always adventurous Bang on a Can All-Stars and the renowned Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Anthracite Fields merges multiple styles with classical themes—from the deep, ambient sweep of the opening movement “Foundation” (with the All-Stars’ Mark Stewart wrenching waves of keening sound from his electric guitar) to the high-energy work-song mood of “Breaker Boys.” In the sociopolitically poignant “Speech”, inhumane mining conditions are addressed with Stewart taking the lead in haranguing rock vocals, while “Appliances” reflects with mechanical denouement on the economic results of coal power.

1. Bang on a Can All-Stars – Anthracite Fields: I. Foundation (19:35)
2. Bang on a Can All-Stars – Anthracite Fields: II. Breaker Boys (14:24)
3. Bang on a Can All-Stars – Anthracite Fields: III. Speech (06:28)
4. Bang on a Can All-Stars – Anthracite Fields: IV. Flowers (06:38)
5. Bang on a Can All-Stars – Anthracite Fields: V. Appliances (12:31)


%d bloggers like this: