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A Musical Exploration of Grief Beyond Words

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Programs: CU on the Weekend

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This program is part of the series “Music Conversations: Lecture and Performance,” a project of the Music Theory Department in the College of Music in coordination with CU on the Weekend.

Walt Whitman’s profound 1865 elegy on the death of President Lincoln—When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d—is widely regarded as one of his greatest achievements. Many composers have set Whitman’s long poem to music, often in its entirety. George Crumb’s 1979 song cycle Apparition, by contrast, uses only brief fragments to reveal the irresistible urge toward song in the Lilacs elegy. In considering Crumb’s powerfully moving response to Whitman’s poem, music professors Steven Bruns, Alexandra Nguyen and Abigail Nims will demonstrate and discuss key passages. The session concludes with a complete performance of Apparition. Audience members are encouraged to read Lilacs prior to attending the lecture.

The lecture is in English and no registration is required. The presentation is part of CU on the Weekend, which is free and open to the public. Seating is limited to the first 115 people. Free tickets will only be distributed November 12, starting at noon. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and tickets are required.

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8am to 5pm


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