While looking through an annotated edition of Emily Dickinson poetry (intending to find some to set to music), in a footnote to one of the poems I came across a letter written by Dickinson. The letter was in some ways more interesting than the poem, and I soon began to think about setting selections from her letters instead. After looking through several hundred letters, I settled on the four which make up this piece.
The work is dedicated to my dear friend, conductor Hugh Murphy.
This is the premiere performance, recorded on June 25, 1989, with the DaCamera Singers, mezzo-soprano Jean Crichton, horn players Adam Tillett & Jennifer Smith Tillett, and myself at the piano, conducted by Ernest Liotti: