Op. 38 – Five Emily Dickinsongs

Baritone Voice and Bass Clarinet

  1. Success is Counted Sweetest
  2. The Sky is Low
  3. Prairie
  4. The Cleft Mind
  5. Letter to the World

In writing the Five Emily Dickinsongs, I was intrigued to represent the thoughts of this remarkable woman, Emily Dickinson, through the low tones of the baritone voice and bass clarinet. Certain images in the poems caught my imagination, such as the blowing snow in The Sky is Low and the reverie in Prairie. The Cleft Mind illustrates the peculiar dance we all do in trying to reconcile our inner contradictions. The opening and closing songs discuss the meaning of success and posthumous reputation, always a favorite topic with artists.

Performance materials include two scores, one in concert pitch for the singer, and one, transposed, for the bass clarinet.