It is a great pleasure to present, with Thanatopsis, maestro Kissin’s opus 4, an expressive setting of the ground-breaking poem from the quill of William Cullen Bryant. Published in in the form known today in 1821, it is an early example of American romantic poetry of the 19th century. Bryant is today reckoned among the group of “Fireside Poets” or “Schoolroom Poets”, names that allude to the places where their poems were usually recited. His poems – first and foremost Thanatopsis (“A Consideration of Death”) as his most famous – are rooted in the English tradition, but at the same time show Bryant’s openness to a genuine American language and lifeworld. Evgeny Kissin’s setting is a large vocal scene intensely informed by recitative, which congenially allows the prevailing mood of the text to resound. Our edition additionally includes German and French translations of the poem and an informative afterword about Bryant’s life and work and the genesis of Thanatopsis.
- Thanatopsis op. 4