For nearly ten years now, British tenor Ian Bostridge has been performing Weill’s Four Walt Whitman Songs with piano all over Europe and North America. (This season he brings them to London in December and Cologne in January.) Now he has added them to the discography as well, releasing a recording, Requiem: The Pity of War with pianist Sir Antonio Pappano, that features songs by Mahler, George Butterworth, and Rudi Stephan in addition to Weill. The CD was released on Warner Classics in October 2018 (Warner Classics 0190295661564).
While several singers have performed and recorded one or two of Weill’s Whitman settings–Thomas Hampson, Simon Keenlyside, Anna Prohaska, Urs Affolter–this recording of the complete cycle by two prominent artists marks a welcome addition to the discography and contributes to a recent upward trend in performances and recordings. It is only the third complete recording of the Four Walt Whitman Songs with piano and the first since 1986. On 11 November, the Times of London named it “Album of the Week.”
Warner Classics page for the Bostridge CD
Learn more about the Four Walt Whitman Songs