Walt Whitman, the defining 19th-century poetic voice of America, inspired several generations of European composers. In the 20th century, Whitman’s poetry was beautifully adapted during World War I by Othmar Schoeck. The catastrophe of World War II inspired Kurt Weill to turn to Whitman’s writings. Franz Schreker and Ralph Vaughan Williams were drawn to Whitman’s most famous collection, Leaves of Grass, seeking to create music worthy of the power of Whitman’s poetry.
Conductor’s Notes Q&A 7 PM–7:30 PM
Concert 8 PM–10:30 PM
(Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
Othmar Schoeck – Trommelschläge (US Premiere)
Kurt Weill – Four Walt Whitman Songs (New York Premiere)
Franz Schreker – Vom ewigen Leben (From Eternal Life) (New York Premiere)
Ralph Vaughan Williams – A Sea Symphony (Symphony No. 1)
Leon Botstein, conductor
Angel Blue, soprano
Elliot Madore, baritone
Bard Festival Chorale
Program and artists subject to change.