Listen: 'Dreams of the Fallen' honors military veterans

Flowers mark a headstone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery near Minneapolis.Riham Feshir/MPR News

Dreams of the Fallen


May 26, 2022

In the United States, Memorial Day is often thought of as the unofficial beginning of summer, but its significance to this country runs far deeper. Dreams of the Fallen seeks to recognize and memorialize through music and poetry those who have protected our country — often at great sacrifice — from before its founding to the present. From "Taps" to Britten's War Requiem to many film scores and folk songs, conflict and memory have inspired some of the greatest music in history. This special draws from a broad variety of composers and styles, linking them with the spoken remembrances of soldiers, veterans, and poetry to help unify and console. This special's title is taken from its centerpiece, a short masterwork by young American composer Jake Runestad, Dreams of the Fallen. The work sets the poetry of Iraq war veteran Brian Turner and features pianist Jeffrey Biegel and the choir VocalEssence.


Part 1
• Daniel Butterfield (orch. Thomas Knox): Taps
The United States Marine Band; John R. Bourgeois, director

• William Steffe/Julia Ward Howe (arr. Peter Wilhousky): The Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus; John Williams, conductor

• Walter Kittredge (arr. Jacqueline Schwab): Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
Jacqueline Schwab, piano

• Traditional (arr. Mark O'Connor): Soldier's Joy
Mark O'Connor, violin; Jerry Douglas, dobro; John Jarvis, piano; Russ Barenberg, guitar; Mark Schatz, banjo; John Mock, pennywhistle

• Traditional, African-American (arr. Craig Hella Johnson): Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
Conspirare; Craig Hella Johnson, conductor; Melissa Givens, soprano

Part 2

• Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, "From the New World" II. Largo
The Cleveland Orchestra; George Szell, conductor

Part 3

• Jake Runestad (text: Brian Turner): Dreams of the Fallen
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Chorus; Jeffrey Biegel, piano; the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Phillip Brunelle, conductor

• Franz Biebl: Ave Maria
Chanticleer and Cantus

• Tim Takach: Luceat Eis

• Nick Glennie-Smith (text: Randall Wallace): Mansions of the Lord
The United States Military Academy Glee Club