The Gospel at Colonus

Sample this concert
  1. 1Full Concert2:03:35
Liner Notes

Vocalists (Singers and Actors): Morgan Freeman; Jevetta Steele; Sam Butler; Clarence Fountain; Donald Ballard; Jackie Banks; Jearlyn Steele Battle; Deborah C. Brett; Bobby Butler; J.T. Clinkscales; Betty Cooper; George Cooper; Walter Dixon; Keith Doars; J.J. Farley; Mary Fiser; Beverly Graham; Angie Haddock; Vincent Haddock, Jr.; Mary Hunt; Martin Jacox; Carolyn Johnson-White; Zack Kelly; Little Village; Denise Martin; Isabell Monk; Terrence Moore; Janet C. Napper; Ben Odom; Willie Rogers; Joyce Taylor; Ezekiel Tobby; Joe Watson; Linda Wilkerson; Monique Williams; Joan Faye Wright; Musicians: Bob Telson Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals; Sam Butler Guitar, Vocals; Hugh McCracken Harmonica, Slide Guitar; Butch Heyward Organ; Mark Johnson Trombone; Chris Royal Trumpet; John Hagen Alto & Baritone Saxophone; Bob Malach Alto Saxophone; Lincoln Schleifer Bass; Zev Katz Bass; Leroy Clouden Drums

This is the first of two complete performances in Wolfgang's of "The Gospel At Colonus," a renowned collaboration between experimental theater director Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson.

Breuer and Telson had an idea: Retell the story of Oedipus using a gospel choir and soloists as the storytellers. The result was The Gospel at Colonus, which had a very successful theatrical run and produced an extraordinarily beautiful song suite. Telson made the inspired decision to allow much of the weight of the enterprise to be borne by the enormous talents of Clarence Fountain & the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and the J.D. Steele Singers, featuring the absolutely incredible voice of Jevetta Steele. Some of the songs are priceless: "Stop Do Not Go On," with its heartfelt vocal urgings from Sam Butler, is a showstopper of its own, but it's followed by "How Shall I See You Through My Tears," a devastating number with Steele singing in a voice possessed of positively unearthly beauty. Intriguingly, not only can Breuer's lyrics be read as either traditional gospel text or pertaining to the story of Oedipus, but they can also often be heard as love songs from the R&B tradition. There's not a weak song thoughout. Telson, a one-time member of the Philip Glass Ensemble and an associate of numerous jazz musicians, successfully sublimates these influences and manages to create a remarkably authentic pop-gospel hybrid by entrusting the interpretation of his pieces to the artists who deeply know the genre. When the entire cast converges for the penultimate "Lift Him Up," the effect is nothing short of electrifying. Highly recommended not only for fans of gospel music but also for anyone interested in the diverse directions of contemporary music in general.

ACT 1:
00:00 - 10:19 Butch Heyward: Organ Opening
10:19 - 13:53 Dialogue sequence 1
13:53 - 18:35 Song #1: Live Where You Can
16:57 - 22:34 Dialogue sequence 2
22:34 - 24:25 Song #2: Fair Colonus
24:25 - 24:45 Dialogue sequence 3
24:45 - 29:02 Song #3: Stop Do Not Go On (Sam Butler on lead vocal)
29:02 - 29:01 Song #4: Who Is This Man (includes some dialogue)
29:01 - 36:22 Song #5: How Shall I See You Through My Tears (Jevetta Steele on lead vocal)
36:22 - 42:15 Dialogue sequence 4
42:15 - 48:15 Song #6: A Voice Foretold
48:15 - 49:27 Dialogue sequence 5
49:27 - 55:34 Song #7: Never Drive You Away
55:34 - 1:06:15 Dialogue sequence 6
1:06:15 - 1:11:20 Song #8: Numberless Are the World's Wonders

1:11:20 - 1:12:36 Intermission Announcement/cut@1:11:27/room ambience

Act 2:
1:12:36 - 1:13:00 Dialogue sequence 7
1:13:00 - 1:15:15 Song #8a: Lift Me Up (Like a Dove)
1:15:15 - 1:22:50 Dialogue sequence 8 (various musical interludes, too)
1:22:50 - 1:25:39 Song #8b: Lift Me Up (Like a Dove) (reprise)
1:25:39- 1:32:48 Dialogue sequence 9 (various musical interludes, too)
1:32:48 - 1:36:19 Song #9: Sunlight of No Light (includes some dialogue)
1:36:19 - 1:39:52 Song #10: Eternal Sleep
1:39:52 - 1:43:49 Dialogue sequence 10
1:43:49 - 1:52:18 Song #11: Lift Him Up
1:52:18 - 1:56:50 Dialogue sequence 11
1:56:50 - 2:00:43 Song #12a: Now Let the Weeping Cease
2:00:43 - 2:01:16 ovation/applause
2:01:16 - 2:03:26 Song #12b: Now Let the Weeping Cease (reprise)
2:03:26 - 2:03:41 ovation/applause