Evidence of Things Not Seen


Rorem's massive song cycle Evidence of Things Not Seen sets 36 poems by a total of 24 authors. The majority of the writers are American. The non-American writers included in the cycle are W.H. Auden, William Wordsworth, Thomas Ken, Oscar Wilde, A.E. Housman, W.B. Yeats, and English translations of Julien Green, Colette, and Charles Baudelaire.

The cycle premiered in 1997 at the New York Festival of Song, and the songs are divided among four singers (a soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and baritone).

The cycle also is divided into three sections: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends. According to Anthony Tommasini in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians:

"...the first [Beginnings], includes songs about moving forward and the ‘wistful optimism of love’; ‘Middles’, the second, touches on coming of age and the horrors of war; ‘Ends’ treats issues of death, inspired, in part, by friends of the composer stricken by AIDS. "

--Christie Finn

Song Listing:


1. From Whence Cometh Song (Roethke)
2. The Open Road (Whitman)
3. O Where Are You Going? (Auden)
4. The Rainbow (Wordsworth)
5. How Do I Love Thee? (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
6. Life in a Love (Robert Browning)
7. Their Lonely Betters (Auden)
8. His Beauty Sparkles (Goodman)
9. Boy With a Baseball Glove (Goodman)
10. A Glimpse (Whitman)
11. I Am He (Whitman)
12. Love Cannot Fill (Millay)
13. The More Loving One (Auden)
14. Hymn For Morning (Ken)


15. I Saw A Mass (Woolman)
16. The Comfort of Friends (Penn)
17. A Dead Statesman (Kipling)
18. The Candid Man (Crane)
19. Comment on War (Hughes)
20. A Learned Man (Crane)
21. Dear, Though the Night (Auden)
22. Requiescat (Wilde)
23. Is My Team Ploughing (Housman)
24. As I Walked Out One Evening (Auden)
25. The Sick Wife (Kenyon)
26. Now is the Dreadful Midnight (Goodman)
27. Hymn For Evening (Ken)


28. He Thinks Upon His Death (Green, excerpted from L'autre sommeil and translated from the original French)
29. On an Echoing Road (Colette, excerpted from L'etoile vesper and translated from the original French)
30. A Terrible Disaster (Goodman)
31. Come In (Frost)
32. The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water (Yeats)
33. End of the Day (Baudelaire, La fin de la journée, translated from the original French)
34. Faith (Doty)
35. Even Now... (Monette)
36. Evidence of Things not Seen (William Penn)

Audio PLaylist