Score and part on special sale from the Hire Library
I have long been an avid reader of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, so when the invitation came from the Cheltenham Festival to compose a work for high baritone, violin and piano, I leapt at the opportunity to set some of her work. The poems I have chosen are not amongst her best known; she had a many-sided character, and not the least of her traits was a sly, playful sense of humour which I was keen to represent strongly alongside her better-known nostalgic pastoralism. Various verbal traits, and even specific words, are common to all the poems in the group, and these suggested a similar network of musical connections, although they are generally kept in the background. I have found that setting the poetry demanded considerable discretion on the part of the music; she was herself notoriously shy, even reclusive, and I wanted my musical setting to reflect this, whilst paradoxically also matching the intensity of the poetry when required.