Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined hundreds of thousands of Americans for what would be one of the seminal moments in American history on August 28th, 1963. Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World uses excerpts of King’s speeches, including “I Have a Dream.” Luciano Berio composed “O King” in 1968 in memory of Dr. King, and created two versions: the first for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano; the second for eight voices and orchestra and incorporated into his Sinfonia. (You can hear Sinfonia here, O King occurs about half way through the first part). The text of “O King” is simply “Martin Luther King.”
Daniel Gilliam is weekday afternoon host (1-5pm) and program director at 90.5 WUOL, and director of radio for Louisville Public Media.