'Made in America': Fishing for Mennin

Audio for this story from Performance Today is not available.

Peter Mennin

In 1952, American composer Peter Mennin wrote a 10-minute piece for orchestra entitled Moby Dick, inspired by Herman Melville's classic novel. Courtesy ASCAP hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy ASCAP

Herman Melville's novel Moby has inspired artists since it was published in 1851 — from the movie version starring Gregory Peck to sculptor and painter Frank Stella, playwrights David Ives and Tony Kushner, music historian Stanley Crouch, novelist Ray Bradbury, and performer and composer Laurie Anderson.

In 1952, American composer Peter Mennin got hooked. He wrote a 10-minute piece for orchestra entitled Moby Dick.

Conductor Gerard Schwarz says Mennin's composition is not necessarily a blow-by-blow account of the story, but it mirrors the tension of Captain Ahab's quest for the whale, and the feel of the open ocean.

Gerard Schwarz leads the Seattle Symphony in concert at Benaroya Hall in a performance of Mennin's Moby Dick in Seattle.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.