Once upon a time a frog went to a fortune-teller to see what the future had in store for him. The fortune-teller gazed into her crystal ball and said, “A beautiful young woman is going to come into your life. She will find you fascinating. She will want to get close to you. She will want to know all about you.” The frog was greatly intrigued. “Where will this take place?” he asked. “In her biology class,” the fortune-teller replied. Clearly, the frog was in for a big disappointment.
In the Oratorio, “Donna Nobis Pacem,”1 the music is set to selections from the poetry of Walt Whitman. It opens with a biting expression of disappointment in the Church:
Who cares for whom the bell tolls if inside there’s nothing but the cold dust of men’s forgotten souls? Don’t point your steeple’s finger at nothing in the sky and tell me that’s the reason I should believe in your vanity. Don’t try to convince…
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