“ONE OF THE GREATEST SONG CYCLES WRITTEN SINCE WORLD WAR II”
COPLAND, Aaron. Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson. New York: Boosey & Hawkes, (1970). 12mo, original wrappers, pp.101. $500.
Hawkes Pocket Scores edition, inscribed by Aaron Copland, "For Filloolo / with silly greetings! / Aaron C / June 11, 1983"
Copland finished composing his Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson for piano in 1950, the year of the piece's first performance. Eight of the original twelve poems were then transcribed for voice and chamber orchestra by the composer from 1958 to 1970. The poems include "Nature, the gentlest mother," "Dear March, come in," and "There came a wind like a bugle." "Copland's songs are not numerous, but they have established themselves as permanent fixtures in the recitals of American singers. The outstanding set is the Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, which Copland completed in 1950 after working on them for six years. Dickinson was a unique voice in 19th-century American literature, and it is Copland's achievement to convey her powerful mix of the personal, the quietly resolute and the visionary so convincingly and so sympathetically. This is one of the greatest song cycles written since World War II" (Staines, 111). The recipient of this copy was Phillip Ramey, a composer and writer who was also one of Copland's closest friends.