About the piece

1. A Wind in China
2. Reaching
3. Dreams, Towers, Moon and Stars
4. Rationalists

This cycle explores the theme of humanity’s interaction with nature and takes its text from Wallace Stevens’ Six Significant Landscapes (1916). The first movement, “A Wind in China”, illustrates the idea of unattainable peace between man and the environment; the music is gentle, impressionistic and ethereal. In the second movement, “Reaching”, humanity’s egotism and hubristic desires are contrasted with the self-sufficiency of ants, represented by the relentless pizzicato strings. Floating hopeful melodies and triumphal praises are juxtaposed in “Dreams, Towers, Moon and Stars.” The final movement, “Rationalists”, is a rhythmic and jagged indictment of those who refuse to think creatively.


bass-baritone, clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello


12 minutes

year written


Premiered by

Keith Kiber and the Williams College Chamber players

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