Judd Greenstein - My City

April 27, 2019

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Donald Nally conducts the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble in Judd Greenstein's My City, based on poems of Walt Whitman, in two parts:

Mannahatta
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

A note from the composer:

My City is a setting of two Walt Whitman poems about New York City, Mannahatta and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, with the former, simpler poem serving as an introduction to the epic work that follows. If you squint your eyes to get past the sometimes-outdated imagery and descriptions, Whitman’s New York is still very much our own. As well as any other artist, the great poet captures New York’s energy and sense of freedom, the strange interplay between individuality and collective spirit that I have never encountered anywhere else. In the latter poem, he extends his gaze across time, finding evidence of our common humanity through the lens of a simple boat ride. Whitman’s vision of humanity is not simple or clean but ambiguous and messy and decidedly of-our-time.

—Judd Greenstein



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