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When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd

Composer: Hindemith Paul

Instruments: Voice Baritone Mixed chorus Orchestra

Tags: Requiem Funeral music Religious music

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Complete Score PDF 18 MB
Complete Score PDF 23 MB
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd: A Requiem for those we love is a 1946 composition by composer Paul Hindemith, based on the poem of the same name by Walt Whitman. Conductor Robert Shaw and the Robert Shaw Chorale commissioned the work after the 1945 death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It received its world premiere on May 14, 1946 at New York City Center, with the Collegiate Chorale conducted by Shaw and soloists Mona Paulee, contralto, and George Burnson, baritone.
David Neumeyer and others regard the Lilacs Requiem as Hindemith's "only profoundly American work." Paul Hume said, "I doubt if we shall ever mourn Abraham Lincoln's untimely death more eloquently than in the words of Walt Whitman set to the music of Paul Hindemith; it is a work of genius and the presence of the genius presiding over its performance brought us splendor and profound and moving glory."
The work is scored for mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, SATB chorus, and full orchestra. After an unnumbered orchestral introduction, the text of the poem is divided into 11 movements:
The work is scored for mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, mixed choir, and an orchestra of 2 flutes (one doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (one doubling cor anglais), clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons (one doubling contrabassoon), 3 horns, 2 trumpets, off-stage bugle, 2 trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, glockenspiel, chimes, tam-tam, triangle, snare drum, bass drum, field drum, organ, and strings (First & second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses).