12.

Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes, one of America’s great poets, gave jubilant voice to the lives of African Americans. His poetry has inspired settings by dozens of composers; we hear some of that music and learn about the world that inspired him.

Related Educational Resources

Info / Credits

Additional recordings:

I’m Just Wild About Harry
from Shuffle Along
Eubie Blake / Noble Sissle
Al Jolson, singer with orchestra
Al Jolson: Fifty Favorites

I, Too
Langston Hughes recites his poem
Smithsonian Folkways SFW47001

Minstrel Man
Paul Robeson reads the poem by Langston Hughes
EMI Classics 509992155 8627

Song Listing

Song listings with composer / poet, performers, CD label, and CD number:

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Margaret Bonds

Langston Hughes

Record#: Winona, Minnesota, July 2011 (Thomas Hampson, baritone; Vlad Iftinca, piano recital)

My People

Ricky Ian Gordon

Langston Hughes

Record#: RCA 09026-61944-2 (Harolyn Blackwell, soprano; Warren Jones, piano)

Song Collection: Genius Child: A Cycle of 10 Songs

I, Too

Margaret Bonds

Langston Hughes

Record#: Fleur de Son: The Black Art Song (Kevin Maynor, bass; Eric Olsen, piano)

Song Collection: Three Dream Portraits

Bound No’th Blues

Erik Santos

Langston Hughes

Record#: Naxos 8.559136 (Darryl Taylor, tenor; Maria Corley, piano; Patricia Terry-Ross, harp)

Song Collection: Dreamer: 7 Poems of Langston Hughes

Minstrel Man

Margaret Bonds

Langston Hughes

Record#: Fleur de Son: The Black Art Song (Kevin Maynor, bass; Eric Olsen, piano)

Song Collection: Three Dream Portraits

Lonely People

Jean Berger

Langston Hughes

Thomas Hampson, baritone, and Malcolm Martineau, piano

Record#: Orfeo d'Or C707062 (Thomas Hampson, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano)

Song Collection: Four Songs

A Black Pierrot

William Grant Still

Langston Hughes

Record#: Naxos 8.559136 (Darryl Taylor, tenor; Maria Corley, piano)

Joy

Howard Swanson

Langston Hughes

Record#: Naxos 8.559136 (Darryl Taylor, tenor; Maria Corley, piano)

Lovely, Dark, and Lonely One

Henry Burleigh

Langston Hughes

Record#: CRC 2252 (Regina McConnell, soprano; Michael Cordovana, piano)

Daybreak in Alabama

John Stone

Langston Hughes

Record#: Mp3: Daybreak in Alabama: A Langston Hughes Song Cycle (Amy Bartram, soprano; John Stone, piano)

Song Collection: Daybreak in Alabama

Litany

John Musto

Langston Hughes

Record#: Albany Records TROY 081 (Paul Sperry, tenor; Irma Vallecillo, piano)

Song Collection: Shadow of the Blues

Drum

Hermann Reutter

Langston Hughes

Record#: Orfeo d'Or C707062 (Thomas Hampson, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano)

Song Collection: My Dark Hands

Peace

Elie Siegmeister

Langston Hughes

Record#: CRI 814 (Esther Hinds, soprano; Alan Mandel, piano)

Song Collection: The Face of War

Dream Variations

Ricky Ian Gordon

Langston Hughes

Record#: Nonesuch 79626 (Audra McDonald, soprano; ensemble conducted by Eric Stern)

Song Collection: Only Heaven