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I Lift My Lamp - Illuminations from Immigrant America / Schwab

I Lift My Lamp - Illuminations from Immigrant America / Schwab

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“Let me invite you to listen to this potpourri of favorite musical stories spotlighting some of the rich contributions from American immigrants and other countries. Laden with cultural pride, they celebrate people like my Scottish friend Stuart, who capped a fulfilling international career with retirement to Cape Cod but never forgot his roots–and would sing the old song I Belong to Glasgow, at the drop of a hat.

"I Lift My Lamp pays musical homage to his Glaswegian pride—and the pride of so many other immigrants for their homelands. In a conversation between old and new, it honors living, community traditions not set in stone. Influenced by my work with storyteller Ken Burns, I feature vintage immigrant songs and dances from my Pittsburgh childhood, later life in Boston and travels–my own arrangements of American standards, lesser-known gems, and imported and homegrown creations, from countryside to Tin Pan Alley...” (Jacqueline Schwab)


Beyond performances that are engaged and expressive, what distinguishes I Lift My Lamp is its programme. On this sixty-five-minute collection, pianist Jacqueline Schwab presents songs from numerous countries, some familiar and some not but all performed with deep feeling. As the songs are associated with the American immigrant experience, many are filled with longing for the countries left behind.

This isn’t the first time Schwab, a graduate of Boston’s New England Conservatory who lived for many years at Cape Cod before returning to Boston, has given her attention to such material; in fact, much of her career has been devoted to projects celebrating the American experience in one form or another...None of the material was written by her, but the songs feel no less like personal expressions in her hands.

Dances and ballads consistently alternate, with examples of each coming from various parts of the world and Schwab executing them all with equal attention to detail and tone. Adding to the release’s appeal, in-depth liner notes presenting background for each composition were written for it by Stephanie Smith, one-time Archives Director of the Smithsonian Centre for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Many of these tunes—what Twain called “remembrancers,” apparently—were written long ago, but the feelings they express and the message they impart transcend time and resonate afresh in Schwab’s inspired readings.

-- Textura

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 22, 2022

  • UPC: 053479225726

  • Catalog Number: DSL-92257

  • Label: Sono Luminus

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Harold Arlen, Felix Arndt, Ignacio Verdugo, Tadeusz Kwiecinski, Robert Mackintosh, William Marshall, Johnny Mercer, Ernesto Nazareth, Jack Norworth, Roman Sadowski, Jean Sibelius, Albert Von Tilzer, Juan M. Sepulveda, Mark Warshawsky, Sebastian Yradier, Alfred Pasquale Zambarano

  • Performer: Jacqueline Schwab