Loafe with me and the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
For the season’s first Lied und Lyrik program, soprano Claron McFadden and curator Julius Drake have chosen the foremost American poet of the 19th century and one of the trailblazers of literary modernism: Walt Whitman. His revolutionary poetry, which foregoes traditions of form and strict rhyming patterns, has inspired composers far beyond the United States. At the Pierre Boulez Saal, excerpts from Leaves of Grass, the collection Whitman kept working on throughout his life, will be heard in settings by Charles Ives, Leonard Bernstein, George Crumb, and others, as well as read in the original English.