Musical writing for the non-operatic voice in the 20th and 21st century is truly vast and largely unheard. Besides the most famous names such as Richard Strauss, Francis Poulenc, Claude Debussy, Manuel De Falla, Gustav Mahler, Aaron Copland and Puccini, there is an entire world of melody, lieder song, vocal cantata, oratorio, song cycles and other scena and scenario that stretch across the last century into our own time. For National Poetry Month we will survey some of these works on Alternate Routes.
In three successive weeks of programs, we'll hear from poets of all time periods, languages and geographies set to modern music. Peter Lieberson will provide music for the German poetry of Rilke; John Ireland will give us settings of Blake, Shakespeare and James Joyce; diverse composers will try their hands at the blues inflected work of Langston Hughes; Margaret Garwood will give us choral settings of e.e. cummimgs and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Libby Larsen and Elisenda Fabregas, among others, were drawn to the great novelist Margaret Atwood, and we'll hear their settings of that poet. We’ll also enjoy Shostakovich and Britten’s inspired turns at Michelangelo.
As an added treat on each of these dates, April 13, 20 and 27 we'll broadcast readings from some of the century’s greatest poets in their own words. Among these will be James Joyce, Margaret Atwood, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Langston Hughes.
Please tune in Friday nights at 10pm on Alternate Routes and hear a feast of words and music in the three part series: “Music and the Voice of the Poet,” on KPAC 88.3 FM and KTXI 90.1 FM.
--Ron Moore, co-host, "Alternate Routes"