O Sweet Spontaneous Earth
- For SATB chorus, violin, viola, cello; secular text from poems by E.E. Cummings
- Length: 8:00
- Difficulty rating (1-5): 5
Listen to excerpts from the Navona Records release There Are Many Other Legends, tracks 15–17.
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- Score: $3 (for reproduction rights; minimum purchase of 10 required; additional charge for hard copies); set of parts: $8
When I was commissioned to create a new work for a concert series with the theme of sustainability and our relationship with the Earth, I immediately thought of the favorite poet of my youth, E.E. Cummings. I always loved his forthrightness, his passion, his love of the world around him. I returned to his work looking for optimism and joy about the environment and our role in it; to my surprise, I found passionate denunciations of humanity's consumer-driven relationship with nature, denunciations that precede Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and the entire environmental movement as we know it. In response, I wrote some of my darkest work for the Master Chorale, work that only lightens at the end as Cummings discusses our ultimate reconciliation with our environment.
Read the text of the E.E. Cummings (1894–1962) poems: