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Whitman and the Civil War

  • Union Theological Seminary 3041 Broadway New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

This program reflects on the Civil War as seen through Whitman’s eyes. As a volunteer nurse in a Washington, D.C. military hospital, he was witness to the many horrors that wars inflict.

Rene Clausen’s Three Whitman Songs and Jeffrey Van’s A Procession Winding Around Me: Four Civil War Poems offers contemporary settings of Whitman’s poetry, the latter with guitar. British composers Stanford and Holst both set Whitman’s elegy on the death of Abraham Lincoln “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd” with full Victorian splendor. We also present the final installment (over three seasons) of Bach’s six motets, Der geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf. The motet, written for a funeral fits the theme of this program.

Pre-concert talk - 3:15 pm
Civil War Poetry of Walt Whitman
Dr. Karen Karbiener

A Procession Winding Around Me: Four Civil War Poems Jeffrey Van (b. 1941)
Der geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Three Whitman Settings Rene Clausen (b. 1953)
Four Walt Whitman Songs Kurt Weill (1900-1950)
Whispers of Heavenly Death (premiere) Ian Sturges Milliken (b. 1984)
Ode to Death, H. 144, Op. 38 Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
Elegiac Ode, Op. 21 Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Earlier Event: December 9
Welcome Yule! (Brooklyn)
Later Event: May 31
Whitman Bicentennial Festival