American Classics - Dreamer - A Portrait Of Langston Hughes

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The composer Elie Siegmeister once declared of Langston Hughes (1902-1967) that he was the “most musical poet of the twentieth century”. True or false, this judgement underscores the unquestionable facts that much of Hughes’s poetry lends itself fairly readily to musical setting, and that, for Hughes, music was perhaps the primary inspiration, other than the history and culture of African-Americans in general, for his writing.
In the early 1920s, before the blossoming of the Harlem Renaissance, the young poet turned away from traditional verse and boldly linked his literary art to jazz and the blues. His first volume of verse, appropriately enough, was The Weary Blues (1926). The result of this fusion was a new kind of poetry that formed the foundation of Hughes’s later literary career and inspired eventually a new approach to writing by African-Americans. However, also starting in the 1920s, Hughes lovingly created a body of lyrical poems that appealed consistently to musicians both white and black, and led to the composition of art songs, cantatas, and even operas. This breadth of interest and appeal was typical of Langston Hughes.- Dr. Arnold Rampersad

"This collection is a gem! Langston Hughes was a very "musical" poet who was inspired by a variety of forms, from jazz to classical. His poetry in turn inspired a whole generation of composers, thirteen of whom are represented here in fifteen art songs. Additionally, eight Hughes poems are read by William Warfield." -

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8559136

  • UPC: 636943913628

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1