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Settings of: Emily Dickinson poems



Dear Choralisters and Cantabile Colleagues:

Here are the answers I have received to my query
regarding settings of Dickinson poems:

There are many settings of Dickinson poems. Try your
local library. They
should have a book (can't remember the name) that
lists all choral published
music with a poet index. Really helpful...

Robert Young's "When I am Dead" is really lovely (a
cappella)

Two beautiful a cappella settings leap to mind. Elliot
Carter has an
early choral work "Heart Not So Heavy." The second is
by Benjamin Locke and
is called "Till the End." As far as I know, the latter
has not been published
(though it really should be) but could likely be
obtained from the composer;

Do you know Donald Grantham's Emily Dickinson set?
Interesting. (Not easy, either.)

Also, Dana Wilson up at Ithaca College sent me a
setting of Wild Nights that I liked very much.

Let down the bars, O Death. Music by Samuel Barber,
for 4-part chorus of mixed voices, a cappella. G.
Schrimer, inc publisher.

Elliot Carter wrote two beautiful little settings,
"Heart Not So Heavy as Mine" was one. This is early
Carter, not too difficult to hear.

There is a wonderful, rarely performed setting of her
poems called "An Emily
Dickinson Mosaic" and it is by a contemporary American
composer whose
name escapes me at the moment (Mecham perhaps). It is
for womens voices.
Since you do not say if your group is mixed I thought
I would mention it. It can
be done with a small instrumental ensemble.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln did an entire concert
of Dickinson settings. It also happened to be the
first concert broadcast live over the internet. I
don't have any Email or web addresses, but I'm sure
their web site wouldn't be hard to find. Give it a
try!

By a Departing Light Libby Larsen

====;) Kayla Werlin
Longmeadow (Mass.) High School
Springfield Children's Chorus
KaylaWerlin(a)yahoo.com

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on May 22, 2002 10:00pm
On a lighter note: from NPR's Prairie Home Companion, almost all of Emily's poetry can be performed using the melody of "Yellow Rose of Texas."