Walt Whitman's upcoming Bicentennial highlights music by American composers

Date: 

May 31 2019 - 12:00pm

"Walt" Whitman (1819-1892) was born 200 years ago this coming May 31.  Celebrations everywhere will no doubt honor this American poet, essayist, and journalist. Described as a humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which has been an unending source for musical settings by composers. Listed below, the musical works in the American Composers Alliance catalog that have been inspired by this great poet, settings in song and choral works, as well as in larger forms. Write us at sales @ composers.com for more info or perusals.

 

Andrew Ardizzoia: Three Whitman Lullabyes (2006)
Voice, piano  from Leaves of Grass
"Memories"
"A clear midnight"
"Twilight"

Elizabeth R. Austin: Good-Bye My Fancy (2019)
High Baritone, piano

Balazs Frederic: Five Songs
voice & piano

Balazs Frederic: 'Song' Orchestra and Chorus (2008)
Boy's chorus, soloists, orchestra

Becker, John: Out of The Cradle Endlessly Rocking (1929)
Narrator, Sop, Ten, SATB, orch

Blank, Allan: Four Poems (1997)
Baritone, piano
I. Halcyon Days
II. The Voice of the Rain
III. Continuities
IV. Old Salt Kossabone

Blank, Allan: The Dalliance of The Eagles (2012)
male voice, piano

Borroff, Edith: Five Whitman Songs (1990)
Tenor, Piano
Love
Wonder
Tears
Mother
The Last Invocation

Bottje, Will: What Is A Man (1999)
SATB, narr, WW quintet, brass, perc(2), 2piano

Brooks, Richard: As Adam Early In the Morning (1986)
TTBB, piano

Brooks, Richard: I Am He That Aches With Amorous Love (1981)
SATB, or TTBB a cappella

Brooks, Richard: Two Whitman Choruses (1998)
SATB or TTBB
Adam Early in the Morning 
I am he that Aches with Amorous Love

Carl, Robert: Beginning My Studies (1998)
high voice, piano

Carl, Robert: Our Heart and Home Is With Infinitude (1998)
high voice, piano

Ceely Robert: Five Songs On Texts of Walt Whitman (2005)
Soprano, piano

Childs, Barney: Quodlibet For Singers (1967)
choral a cappella/multiple voices

Childs, Barney: When Lilacs Last In the Dooryard Bloom'd (1971)
Chorus, orch., band

Edwards, George: The Resurrection of The Wheat (1993)
Soprano, piano

Fennelly, Brian: Proud Music "Proud Music of The Storm” (1995)
SATB, 2tpt, 2tbn, org

Fennelly, Brian: Soon Shall the Winter's Foil (1994)
SATB chorus a capella

Fennelly, Brian: Two Whitman Songs (2005)
voice+keyboard
A noiseless patient spider, The last invocation

Goossen Frederic: A Song of The Rolling Earth (1950)
Mezzo Sop, Bar soli, SATB, picc-2-2-C.A.-2-b cl-2-cbn. 4-3-3-1 timp/prec (1 pl): pair large cymbals, bass drum, strings

Goossen Frederic: American Meditations (1968)
SSA or 3-part boy's choir

Goossen Frederic: Collected Songs, “Memories” (1950)
Mezzo Sop, Baritone, or Soprano, and piano

Goossen Frederic: Whispers of Heavenly Death – 6 Songs (1991)
Mezzo Sop, ob, string quartet
1. Dearest Thou Now O Soul                                            
2. Whispers of Heavenly Death                 
3. A Noiseless Patient Spider                                 
4. Pensive and Faltering                           
5. As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing
6. The Last Invocation

Kelly, Robert: Emancipation Symphony, Op 39a (1990)
wind band:1-alfl-1-ehn- 1-bcl-1-cbsn,4-3-1-btbn-1,2perc, timp & narrator

Kreiger, Arthur: A Noiseless Patient Spider (1989)
childrens chor,SSAA & tape

Liptak, David: The Sleepers (2015)
Soprano and chamber orch

Lockwood, Normand: Darest Thou Now O Soul 'Whispers of Heavenly Death' (1959)
SSAATTBB & piano

Lockwood, Normand: Four Songs-A Cycle (1979)
Sop,vln,org OR Sop, piano
 
Lockwood, Normand: Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun Text: “Drum Taps” (1957)
SATB & orch

Luedeke, Ray: of Him I Love Day & Night; A Noiseless Patient Spider (1973)
SATB,sax qrt (SATB),cb,2perc/chorus+orchestra/ens

Luedeke, Ray: Whispers of Heavenly Death and Chanting the Square (1974)
2 Sopranos, piano

Luening, Otto: Hast Never Come To Thee An Hour (1989)
Sop, flute

Miller, Scott L.: Twilight (2013)
Sop, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, Fixed Media Electronics

Mitchell, Darleen: In Clouds Descending (2018)
Baritone, piano
 
Mitchell, Darleen: Look Down Fair Moon (2018)
Baritone, piano

Pleskow, Raoul: Paumanok: A Long Island Cantata (1985)
Sop,SATB, fl,cl,piano,timp,2vln,vla,vcl

Read, Thomas L.: Four Whitman Songs (2003)
Mezzo Sop, piano

Rockmaker, Jody: After the Dazzle of Day (1996)
Mezzo Sop, cl, hn, piano

Silsbee, Ann: Darest Thou Now O Soul (1988)
SATB mixed choir, piano

Stearns, Peter Pindar: Grand Is the Seen (1958)
SATB

Stearns, Peter Pindar: Whitman Cycle 3 (1955)
low voice, piano
As i ebb'd with the ocean of life
Tears
To the Man of War bird
On the beach at night

Stearns, Peter Pindar: Whitman Cycle 4 (1959)
Sop, piano

Van De Vate, Nancy: Cantata for Women's Voices – Choir and Ensemble
(1979) (Whitman's "Faces" and "Tears"
SSAA, pic, fl, cl, 2 perc, cel, hp

Warfield, Gerald: A Noiseless Patient Spider (1967)
SATB OR ttbb OR ssaa

Willingham, Lawrence: Carol of The Thrush, Op 15 (1977)
Sop,fl,cl,vln,vla,vcl

Zupko, Ramon: Proud Music of The Storm (1976)
orchestra, 2 bands, chorus, dancers, electronic tracks, narrators, visuals