Go Tell It On The Mountains
Moerane set this old African American spiritual as a Christmas song for SATB soloists and SATB choir. The choir sings 8 bars, the solo quartet sings 8, they join forces for the remaining 8 bars, and then there is a short coda. The tune, ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain’ (Moerane makes the mountains plural) was one of almost 300 spirituals collected by Harry T. Burleigh, many of them remembered by his grandfather, a former slave. Burleigh arranged 'Go Tell It' for solo voice and piano accompaniment in Negro Spirituals, published by Ricordi in 1917, and this may have been the source that Moerane used. Dvořák, who worked closely with Burleigh when he was in America, used ‘Go Tell It’ in the 1st movement of his Cello Concerto Op. 104. The recording below is typical of the way this tune is often rendered in Gospel style, or half Gospel, half classical, and its liveliness gives a good idea of what to expect from the Moerane arrangement.
Go Tell It on the Mountain (arr. Saylor) sung by Jessye Norman on Youtube Video
Jessye Normal (Soprano), Choeur Régional Vittoria d'Ile de France, conductor Lawrence Foster