NEW CHAMBER MUSIC
Premiere: August 26, 2012 / Katherine Growdon, mezzo-soprano; Richard Webster, piano / Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Instrumentation: Medium Voice & Piano
Text: Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Commissioned by Helen Weinland through the NEW CHORAL MUSIC! initiative, a Kickstarter project that funded my 2011 CD Motets. Helen was a volunteer alto at Trinity Church, Boston. Both my wife and I taught her privately, singing being a life-long passion to which she turned after her retirement from the foreign service. The song was premiered by Katherine Growdon, a colleague and fellow staff singer at Trinity, who became Helen's voice teacher after my wife's freelance career began to keep her on the road more often.
The imagery in Dickinson's poem is almost begs itself to be set. Although I'm not one for text-painting, this poem made it easy without over exaggeration. I was able to organically inform the melody and accompaniment so as to illuminate the text appropriately.