Scott Simon hosts 'Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny'

May 28, 2021

Snapshot of American war poet Alan Seeger, posing in his full military uniform with his rifle at his side, standing outside of an unidentified building somewhere in France during World War I.
Credit State Archive of North Carolina / Flickr

In this one-hour Memorial Day special, NPR's Scott Simon hosts this new Oratorio in performance.

From the trenches of The Great War, Alan Seeger's poems, letters and diaries spring to life in the voices of the Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine. Recorded just before lockdown in the Cathedral, Patrick Zimmerli's new oratorio "Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny" fuses Seeger's formal writing with monkish chants and 20th Century music. Scott Simon hosts this moving hour of tribute to all those who saw combat, and those who awaited them at home.

Listen Sunday, May 30 at 7 p.m. on WRVO, on-air and online.