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Musical setting of the untitled Emily Dickinson poem referred to as "996" in "The Poems of Emily Dickinson" [Belknap Harvard]. Inspired by watching a beautiful orange sunset over orange-leafed trees while atop Mount Auburn's Washington Tower.

lyrics

996
(By: Emily Dickinson)

I heard, as if I had no Ear
Until a Vital Word
Came all the way from Life to me
And then I knew I heard.

I saw, as if my Eye were on
Another, till a Thing
And now I know 'twas Light, because
It fitted them, came in.

I dwelt, as if Myself, were out,
My Body but within
Until a Might detected me
And set my kernel in.

And Spirit turned unto the Dust
"Old Friend, thou knowest me,"
And Time went out to tell the News
And met Eternity.

credits

from Mount Auburn: Spring and Autumn Suites, released June 3, 2017
Composed and arranged by Mary Bichner. Conducted by Kristo Kondakçi. Performed by Mary Bichner (mezzo/alto soloist), Katharina Giegling (concertmaster), Sonia Deng (violin), Abby Swidler (violin), Christopher McClain (viola I principal, viola soloist), Minjung Chun (viola I), Carrol Lee (viola II principal), Foxman James (viola II), Aron Zelkowicz (cello principal), and Nash Tomey (contrabass principal).

Recorded and engineered by Antonio Oliart Ros at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA. Mixed and mastered by Peter Moore at Palace of Purpose in Malden, MA. Consulting by Xiao’an Li. Commissioned by The Friends of Mount Auburn and Mount Auburn Cemetery.

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Mary Bichner Somerville, Massachusetts

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