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About this Piece

Composed: 2003

Length: 20 minutes

Orchestration: 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion, timpani, 2 harps, strings, and solo piano, bass, drums, and voice.

First Los Angeles Philharmonic performance (world premiere).

For Suzanne was commissioned by Michael Tennenbaum and is dedicated to his wife Suzanne. Therefore, in approaching this piece conceptually, I sought to communicate a feeling of deep love, a love that one has for one's spouse.

The poem "Take for example this," by E. E. Cummings, proved to be a perfect vehicle through which to express my idea of love. To me, it is one of the most beautiful poems on the subject. There is an immediacy, a spontaneity to the poem, and the fact that it is essentially one long sentence gives it a certain free-flowing continuity.

Musically, the composition follows, loosely, a three-part form. The first part is a setting of the poem. The second part is a solo section for vocals and piano. The third part is a reprise of the setting of the text.

- Billy Childs