I'm nobody, who are you?


tenor or high baritone, violin and piano
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Tenor
Emily Dickinson

Commissioned for the 1995 Cheltenham Festival with funds provided bySouth West Arts

First Performance
13.7.95, Cheltenham Festival, The Pittville Pump Room,Cheltenham: William Dazeley/Priya Mitchell/Julius Drake

Score and part on special sale from the Hire Library

Programme Notes

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.

Julian Anderson

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