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An Emily Dickinson Suite

for wind ensemble

Year:  2009   ·  Duration:  18m
Instrumentation:  piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 4 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bassoon, 2 horn in F, 3 trumpet, 2 trombones, euphonium, tuba, string bass, timpani and percussion

Year:  2009
Duration:  18m
Instrumentation  piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes,...

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Sample Score

Sample: Page 1 - 5

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An Emily Dickson Suite takes the form of nine vignettes inspired by the eight poems. I chose these particular poems not to fulfill any kind of programme or theme, but because they were the ones that spoke most strongly to me in musical terms at first reading.

In order to get to know the poems I initially set them as if the choir and then used the wind ensemble palette to better capture the contrasting moods and spirit of each poem. in most cases it is still possible to hear clearly the patterns of the words within the melodies. So in a real way these vignettes are 'songs without words'. Dickson did not give her poems titles. However I have titled each of the vignettes from the first line of each poem.

Christopher Marshall

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Amherst Regional High School with director Brian Messier

Contents note

  1. This Is My Letter To The World
  2. To Hear An Oriole Sing
  3. I'm Nobody
  4. The Little Stone
  5. If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking
  6. A Narrow Fellow In the Grass
  7. A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!
  8. Hope Is The Thing With Feathers
  9. This Is My Letter To The World

Performance history