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Songs of the Soul (1999)

Medium: baritone and piano

Length: ~10 min

Songs of the Soul is a five-movement song cycle for baritone on the poetry of Walt Whitman (1819-1892). These short poems from Leaves of Grass are linked by pensive musings on the soul and its relations to peace, music, death, and immortality. The first movement “A Noiseless, Patient Spider” uses the imagery of a small spider and his web, and compares them to the soul, exploring and searching for a place to anchor. The next two movements “After the Dazzle of Day” and “A Clear Midnight” refer to the calm and peace felt at the end of the day, when private contemplation is possible. “Joy, Shipmate, Joy” compares the soul to one’s shipmate, and shows an eager desire to move beyond mortal life, and the last movement “Then Last of All” is again an exploration of life’s meaning. All five of these poems come from the latter period of Whitman’ life and display his intense fascination with the relation of the soul to its surroundings.

Price: $12 

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I. A Noiseless Patient Spider
II. After the Dazzle of Day
III. A Clear Midnight
IV. Joy, Shipmate, Joy!
V. Then Last of All
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