A “MUSICAL ILLUMINATION” OF BLAKE’S SONGS
On the weekend of 9-11 January 1987, the New Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music sponsored composer William Bolcom’s musical tribute to Blake. The 2½ hour performance of “Songs of Innocence and of Experience, A Musical Illumination of the Poems of William Blake” involved an eclectic combination of musical styles, performers, and media including classical (with a full symphony orchestra), chorus, children’s chorus, jazz, folk, reggae, operatic solos, rock, and country (“The Sheperd”). The Brooklyn Academy performance was reviewed by the New York Times, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, among others. Bolcom’s “Songs” will also be reviewed in a forthcoming Blake. A tape of the University of Michigan production of “Songs” is available for about $24 from Roger Arnett, Electronic Services, School of Music, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109.