Children of Adam

Settings of Walt Whitman for baritone and piano

Martin Bussey

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Settings of Walt Whitman for baritone and piano

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Composer Martin Bussey
Year of Composition 2008
Duration 11' 30"

Instrumentation Piano, Baritone
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-mb2coa1


1. The Mystic Trumpeter
2. As Adam
3. We too, how long we were fooled
4. When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed
5. Joy, shipmate, joy

The cycle for baritone and piano, Children of Adam, sets texts by Walt Whitman. The poems feature one of Whitman’s favourite themes, the mystic reflection of human experience in the natural world from earliest times. The settings echo Whitman’s intensity, passion and questing spirit. Common musical ideas link different movements, giving the vigorous final song a sense of resolution and release. Individual songs may be performed alone.

The cycle was first performed in St Nicolas, Chiswick in 2011 by the dedicatee (and now actor) Alex Knox, who was a vocal student of Martin Bussey at Manchester University. The songs have since been performed at various events including Ludlow English Song Weekend and St Endellion Festival.