Monday, May 30, 2011

A Requiem for those We Love

Memorial Day, like Veteran's Day, has changed focus over the years- it began as Decoration Day, a memorial for the Union dead after the Civil War, and only later was extended to the more general remembrance it has today. I am, I suppose, a bit of a fundamentalist when it comes to holidays, and always like to go back to the source - though the broader remembrance is also a good thing.

In that spirit - both of going to the source and extending it - here is a link to Paul Hindemith's setting of Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Courtyard Bloom'd" - the poem written to commemorate Lincoln's death; the musical piece commissioned on the occasion of Roosevelt's death - both, of course, dating from the end of long wars.

Here is the opening - and the playlist, containing videos of the whole piece.

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