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A Scented Garden of Music 

Artist: Maria Newman, Emily Bernstein, Scott Hosfeld, Michael A. Jordan, Anne Marie Ketchum, Risa Larson, Louise Moss Montgomery, Wendy Prober, JoAnn Turovsky, Malibu Madrigals, Montgomery Arts House Bell Choir & Percussion Ensemble

Release: 2010

Label: Montgomery Arts House Press

Purchase: Amazon Music, Apple Music


Listen: Spotify, Amazon Music

Maria Newman's A Scented Garden of Music: "Melodies of the South" - Book I is perhaps one of Newman's most personal works, as it centers on her own family heritage and history.

The song cycle A Breath of Mississippi is set to the words of Newman's own grandmother, Mississippi Poet Laureate Louise Moss Montgomery. In addition to this familial connection, the cycle was composed in 2005 in loving memory of the composer's mother, former Goldwyn Girl Martha Montgomery, who had passed earlier that same year. The piece was premiered in December of 2005 at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture, in a set of concerts celebrating the life of Martha Montgomery. As indicated in Moss Montgomery's poetry, the song cycle takes the listener on a grand journey, from the first notes of Little Songs, a call for peace and simplicity in a time of war, to the tender longing of Aunite Mother, a recollection of the poet's adoptive mother and biological aunt, A Breath of Mississippi brings the simple and grand needs of a Mississippi woman to the forefront - As told by her granddaughter, two generations down the line. 

Commissioned in 2001 by The Travers Violin Duo and the Angeli Duo, Newman's Appalachian Duets is an adaptation of themes from Newman's score for the 1919 silent film The Heart O' The Hills, starring Mary Pickford. Written for two violins and intended for the concert stage, Appalachian Duets combines the twangy stylings present in Appalachian fiddle music with Newman's own classical stylings to create a series of movements that are engaging for fans of all music types.

Like A Breath of MississippiSongs on Motherhood is also set to the poetry of Louise Moss Montgomery. This cycle of five songs focuses on the minutia of daily life and the little miracles that happen every day, such as a much-beloved daughter returning from a year away at college. 

Rounding out the album is Newman's holiday song cycle, Montgomery Carols - Set I. Set to text by Newman herself, this set of three holiday carols was written for Newman's mother, Martha Montgomery, in celebration of her 81st birthday. The cycle was premiered at a private event on December 5th, 2001, in Los Angeles by the Malibu Madrigals. 

Works On This Album

A Breath Of Mississippi - A Breath of Mississippi in E-Flat Major, Op. 43, No. 5

I. Little Songs

II. Watchword

III. Under the Oak Tree

IV. My Auntie Mother

V. That's Home

Appalachian Duets - Appalachian Duets in A Major, Op. 38, No. 8

I. The Heart O' the Hills

II. Goin' Fishin

III. The Train

IV. Mammy's Little Lullaby

V. Granpap's Fiddle

Songs on Motherhood - Songs on Motherhood in G Major, Op. 36, No. 2

I. O Won't He Love You

II. Jeu, Intermede 1

III. Pirouetting

IV. Jeu, Intermede 11

V. Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Montgomery Carols, Set I - Montgomery Carols, Set 1 in F Major, Op. 39, No. 12

I. Ring Your Bells

II. Baby Lord of Majesty

III. Little Saviour of Healing Light