Gwyneth Walker

Emily! (from New England)

for Soprano and Piano (2014)
for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano (2016)

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Download an MP3 file of the first movement of this work performed by Amanda Cox, soprano and Sharon Johnson, piano.
Download an MP3 file of the second movement of this work.
Download an MP3 file of the third movement of this work.
Download an MP3 file of the fourth movement of this work.
Download an MP3 file of the fifth movement of this work.
Download an MP3 file of the sixth movement of this work.
Download an MP3 file of the seventh movement of this work.

Download a PDF file of the score soprano version of this composition. This file of excerpted sample pages is for perusal only and is not printable. To hear MP3 files of the complete songs, see the above links.
Download a PDF file of the score mezzo-soprano version of this composition. This file of excerpted sample pages is for perusal only and is not printable. To hear MP3 files of the complete songs, see the above links.


(Photograph of pianist David Kidwell and soprano Mary Annarella, for whom these songs were written)

A photo of David Kidwell and Mary Annarella

Dedicated to Mary Annarella, soprano, and David Kidwell, pianist - dear friends and colleagues (Holyoke, Massachusetts)

The poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is especially appealing due to the wide range of topics, diversity of mood and peculiar imagination of the poet. The writings are reflective, passionate, witty, sensuous, observant and ridiculously humorous. Her heart soars. Her mind pokes fun!

Emily was truly a New Englander. Her poems are understated and compact. Her love of Nature focuses on small things -- birds, bees, meadows and a pond.

In creating the musical settings, the composer (herself a New Englander) endeavored to capture the spirit of the poetry, and of the poet, with songs diverse in style, and concise in form. Everything from romance to frogs is explored, briefly.

Great delight is taken in creating musical translations of the colorful imagery: the letters floating off on the breeze ("My Letter to the World"); the shimmering moonlight ("The Moon and the Sea"); a frog croaking in a bog ("The Frog in the Bog"); hopeful birds hopping about ("Hope" with Feathers); the boat of passion riding the waves and then settling into its mooring ("Passion"); the ship's cannons firing in celebration ("Joy"); and the tiniest, lightest gifts of Nature ("All I Have to Bring").

These are the poet's Letters to the World. She lived as a recluse, yet her words took flight -- traveling the universe as messengers of the soul.

Notes by the composer