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Music Text

Text based on poems by e.e. cummings


1.1.2(II=bcl).1- minimum of 10 strings, which can be expanded proportionately:

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes (Hendon Music)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
World Premiere
92nd Street Y, New York, NY
Nicholas Phan, tenor / Various Artists / Ryan McAdams
Composer's Notes

The choice and ordering of these poems by E.E. Cummings was made to show the poet in a period when the telephone was still a novelty and the First World War (1914-1918) was raging. It begins with a personal expression, then goes to his calling…poetry (A Sunbeam’s Architecture), that is interrupted by the war and ends returning to his personal life. It was composed in the spring of 2010 and is dedicated to my son David and Carol Parks.

— Elliott Carter

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

Press Quotes

"It has been a long time since a composer has been willing to write so powerful a musical setting to poetry."
— Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books

"...an inventive, urgent work...offering Mr Carter's astute take on the elusive, seemingly fanciful words..."
— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

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