The Little Things

All seven titles which comprise The Little Things come from Emily Dickinson, who never fails to direct our attention toward nature’s easily overlooked wonders. Movements II, III, IV, and VI evoke various animal life, while I and V portray the sun and moon respectively. The order of the movements suggests the cyclic journey of all living things from morning to night to a new morning.

In the final movement, we hear the voice of Nature singing Dickinson’s famous lines:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Details

  • For string quartet
  • Category: Chamber Ensemble
  • Year Composed: 2023
  • Duration: 20'
  • Commissioner: Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and Seattle Chamber Music Society
  • Movements:
    • I. I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose
    • II. High from the Earth I Heard a Bird
    • III. Two Butterflies Went Out at Noon
    • IV. A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
    • V. The Moon Was But a Chin of Gold
    • VI. A Spider Sewed at Night
    • VII. If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking
  • View Score ›

Performances

  • 26 JUL 2023
  • The Little Things
  • Chamber Music Northwest
  • Portland, OR
  • Viano Quartet
  • 18 JUL 2023
  • The Little Things
  • Seattle Chamber Music Society
  • Seattle, WA
  • Noah Geller, violin 1; Tessa Lark, violin 2; Jonathan Vinocour, viola; Astrid Schween, cello
  • 15 JUN 2023
  • The Little Things - Premiere
  • Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival
  • Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Abeo Quartet
  • 29 MAR 2023
  • The Little Things (excerpts)
  • RED NOTE New Music Festival
  • Normal, IL
  • Momenta Quartet