'Made in America': Fishing for Mennin Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick has inspired artists since it was published in 1851 -- including American composer Peter Mennin. In 1952, he wrote a 10-minute piece for orchestra entitled "Moby Dick."
NPR logo 'Made in America': Fishing for Mennin

'Made in America': Fishing for Mennin

'Made in America': Fishing for Mennin

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Hear Mennin's 'Moby Dick'

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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

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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.

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