The Wound-Dresser

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The Wound-Dresser is a nineteen minute-long piece by U.S. composer John Adams for chamber orchestra and baritone singer. The piece is an elegiac setting of excerpts from American poet Walt Whitman's poem "The Wound-Dresser" (1865) about his experience as a hospital volunteer during the American Civil War.

It was written for baritone singer Sanford Sylvan, who premiered it on 24th February 1989 in St Paul, Minnesota with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer.[1] It was subsequently recorded by the same forces for Nonesuch Records. Interpreters who have performed and recorded it since have included Thomas Hampson, Nathan Gunn and Jeremy Huw Williams.

In 2011, the Oregon Symphony performed and recorded the composition for Music for a Time of War.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Music for a Time of War". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  • The John Adams Earbox, Nonesuch Records, NY 1999

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