This week’s Song of the Day selections come from the founders of Five Boroughs Music Festival Jesse Blumberg and Donna Breitzer. NYFOS is partnering with 5BMF in January to bring our NYFOS@Juilliard program Harry, Hoagy, and Harold to Flushing Town Hall. Welcome, Jesse & Donna!
Thinking about 5BMF’s Inaugural program the other day got us all nostalgic, and that, coupled with some of the insanities we’re hearing in politics lately, made us think that we could all use a reminder of the words engraved inside New York Harbor’s Statue of Liberty. Emma Lazarus’ 1883 poem The New Colossus was written for the dedication of the monument, and Lee Hoiby chooses the last few lines for his welcoming and stately setting.
There are many renditions of this song on YouTube, but to us, none more satisfying than that by mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy and pianist Jocelyn Dueck. Under their expressive care, this song opened that first 5BMF concert, and the rest is history. We remember fondly how Paula began by reading Lazarus’ lines not set by Hoiby, and here you can hear the full poem as we heard it that night, both spoken and sung.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”