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  • Thursday, September 3, 2015
    Ken Burns's Acclaimed "The Civil War" Turns 25; PBS to Air Re-Mastered Film
    Florentine Films

    This month marks the 25th anniversary of the inaugural broadcast of The Civil War, the award-winning film produced and directed by Ken Burns. To mark the occasion, PBS stations across the United States will rebroadcast the series over five consecutive nights starting Labor Day Monday, September 7. This is the first presentation of a newly restored, high-definition version of the landmark documentary. This is also the first time the film will be seen with the same fidelity and framing as the negative that Burns and his co-cinematographers Allen Moore and Buddy Squires shot more than 25 years ago. The Civil War attracted an audience of 38.9 million during its premiere in September 1990, setting a record for the highest rated PBS series broadcast, which stands today.

    Nonesuch released the official soundtrack recording to the film back during its original run in 1990; it went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album the following year. The documentary series traces the personal and political fortunes of both the leaders and the soldiers who were involved in America’s greatest internal conflict.

    Featuring traditional American music ranging from brass bands to gospel choirs, "the music in The Civil War achieves an eloquence parallel to that of the narration, and it reinforces the visual illusion of aching, coming-to-life immediacy," wrote GQ magazine. "All the music is contemporary to the period; Burns even hired musicians to play instruments that are no longer made." Ken Burns, the creator of the series, and John Colby served as producers of the recording.

    Among the well-known American songs featured in The Civil War are "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Dixie," "Shenandoah," and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." The theme music to the series, "Ashokan Farewell", a hauntinq fiddle tune, opens and closes the 30-track recording. It also includes two spoken word excerpts of an opening track taken from the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and a reading of a love letter from a Union soldier to his wife which serves as the finale of the recording.

    For more on the film and this week's broadcast, head to pbs.org. To pick up a copy of the Grammy-winning soundtrack, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include a download of the complete album at checkout.

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Ken Burns's Acclaimed "The Civil War" Turns 25; PBS to Air Re-Mastered Film

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on September 3, 2015 - 10:00am
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Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 14:00
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To mark the 25th anniversary of the debut of Ken Burns's acclaimed documentary The Civil War, PBS will rebroadcast the series over five consecutive nights starting Labor Day Monday, September 7. This is the first presentation of a newly restored, high-definition version of the landmark documentary. This is also the first time the film will be seen with the same fidelity and framing as the negative that Burns and his co-cinematographers Allen Moore and Buddy Squires shot more than 25 years ago. The film's soundtrack, released on Nonesuch Records in 1990, won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album.

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This month marks the 25th anniversary of the inaugural broadcast of The Civil War, the award-winning film produced and directed by Ken Burns. To mark the occasion, PBS stations across the United States will rebroadcast the series over five consecutive nights starting Labor Day Monday, September 7. This is the first presentation of a newly restored, high-definition version of the landmark documentary. This is also the first time the film will be seen with the same fidelity and framing as the negative that Burns and his co-cinematographers Allen Moore and Buddy Squires shot more than 25 years ago. The Civil War attracted an audience of 38.9 million during its premiere in September 1990, setting a record for the highest rated PBS series broadcast, which stands today.

Nonesuch released the official soundtrack recording to the film back during its original run in 1990; it went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album the following year. The documentary series traces the personal and political fortunes of both the leaders and the soldiers who were involved in America’s greatest internal conflict.

Featuring traditional American music ranging from brass bands to gospel choirs, "the music in The Civil War achieves an eloquence parallel to that of the narration, and it reinforces the visual illusion of aching, coming-to-life immediacy," wrote GQ magazine. "All the music is contemporary to the period; Burns even hired musicians to play instruments that are no longer made." Ken Burns, the creator of the series, and John Colby served as producers of the recording.

Among the well-known American songs featured in The Civil War are "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Dixie," "Shenandoah," and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." The theme music to the series, "Ashokan Farewell", a hauntinq fiddle tune, opens and closes the 30-track recording. It also includes two spoken word excerpts of an opening track taken from the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and a reading of a love letter from a Union soldier to his wife which serves as the finale of the recording.

For more on the film and this week's broadcast, head to pbs.org. To pick up a copy of the Grammy-winning soundtrack, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include a download of the complete album at checkout.

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Ken Burns: "The Civil War" canon

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