18 Poems by
Adapted by
Music by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Layne Longfellow
Michael Hoppé

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's
beloved poems are adapted for performance by Layne Longfellow.

Music by Grammy finalist Michael Hoppé.

" It is high time that the sense and the sound of this major American voice were brought freshly to our ears."

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate

      "You will be hanging
on every word..."

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Other Works of Longfellow
reads Longfellow:

Evangeline
The Immortal Epic
Evangeline - A Tale of Acadia
MORE...

Slavery Poems
A collection of poems never before recorded.
Slavery Poems
MORE...

"Layne Longfellow not just revives Longfellow, but gives the poetry the personal and human context for which it is meant. I especially like his version of "The Children's Hour," which dispenses with the syrupy sentimentalism readers have
associated with it and restores the poem's original power."
-- Christoph Irmscher, author, Longfellow Redux


The Poet

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the best loved American poets the world over. Many of his phrasings remain in the memory and accompany us through life. Although he was a serious and internationally respected scholar, Longfellow was blessed with the gift of easy rhyme. He wrote poetry as a bird sings, with natural grace and melody. Once read or heard, his rhyme and meter cling to the mind. MORE...

The Adaptation
Ironically, Layne Longfellow adapted Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poems because he wanted them to be heard the way the poet intended them. Increasingly, we listen instead of read, and what reads well to the eye, on the page, is not necessarily what reads well to the ear. Henry Longfellow himself almost never read aloud in public. Gentle, scholarly, and unassuming, it was an activity he abhorred. On this CD, Longfellow poetry is adapted for reading aloud, for listening. His poetry raised significant questions for us to consider; Layne Longfellow's role is to phrase them so that they can be heard today. The original written texts are reprinted exactly as they appear in his 1885 Complete Poetical Works.
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The Music
The adaptation, cast with a breathtaking musical score by Michael Hoppé, amplifies the emotional content of the poetry. Michael Hoppé is the accomplished Grammy finalist and award-winning composer of "The Lover: Love Poems of Carl Sandburg," "Afterglow," "The Poet," "Solace;" grandson of E.O. Hoppé. The musical score fits the adaptation so well that it's difficult for some to separate the poem from its background. The poetry floats on Michael's music, which reflects it back without a ripple. MORE...

The CD...
...is an antidote to twenty-first-century hyperstimulation. It is calming, reflective, thought-provoking . A historical society in Massachusetts wrote that the recordings reawakened their old love of Longfellow. A 10-year-old boy uses it as a bedtime story. An architect gathered with friends and listened around a fire, leading to warm, deep conversation. In the car, it is a relief from noise, news, and traffic. Others listen to the CD in the early morning, upon arising, to set their emotional thermostat for the day.
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An Evening with Longfellow

AN EVENING WITH LONGFELLOW
Dr. Longfellow's return to the speaking platform after nine years, integrating Lecture Theatre(sm) with live readings of Henry W. Longfellow's masterworks. MORE

 

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