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Four Walt Whitman Songs

For voice and orchestra on texts by Walt Whitman. Orchestrations of “Beat! Beat! Drums!” and “O Captain! My Captain!” by Kurt Weill (1942). Orchestration of “Come Up from the Fields, Father” by Carlos Surinach (1956). Orchestration of “Dirge for Two Veterans” by Kurt Weill and John Baxindine (1942, 2013).

Work Details


18 minutes

First Performance

(Possibly) 2 March 1952, New York, Joseph James, vocalist, "Y" Symphonic Workshop, Maurice Levine, cond. (first three songs only)

Note: "Beat! Beat! Drums!" was recorded by Helen Hayes on RCA Victor in 1942, as a recitation with orchestral accompaniment revised by Weill (recording available on Pearl GEMM CDS 9294).

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  • 1. Beat! Beat! Drums!
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  • 2. O Captain! My Captain!
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  • 3. Come Up from the Fields, Father
  • 4. Dirge for Two Veterans
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  • Instrumentation

    • Voice
    • 2 Flutes
    • Oboe
    • 2 Clarinets
    • Bass clarinet
    • Bassoon
    • 2 French horns
    • 2 Trumpets
    • 2 Trombones
    • Harp
    • Timpani, percussion
    • Strings

Vocal and piano score of versions for high and low voice

Vocal and piano score of original keys
EA 584

  • Four Walt Whitman Songs 1942

    For voice and piano. Texts by Walt Whitman.

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