Composer: Tadd Russo
Piece: The Sleeper (1998)


For mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, chorus, and orchestra. A setting of the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. It's exactly what you might expect from Baltimore's own.
Quotable lyric: "Soft may the worms around her creep."

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is one of America’s favorite, though misunderstood authors. He is known for his macabre poetry and short stories. Many critics have made the assumption that Poe was not of stable mind--possibly because most of his stories were written in the first person narrative. To be sure, he occasionally doubted his own mental stability; however, his writing process was extremely methodical and rational. His work demonstrates a predilection for vivid effect as he brought to light in his essay “The Philosophy of Composition”. Where he ponders, “Of the innumerable effects, or impressions, on which the heart, the intellect, or (more generally) the soul is susceptible, which one shall I, on the present occasion, select?”

Play The Sleeper