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Augusta Read Thomas

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Juggler of Day (2007)
Text Writer
Emily Dickinson
G Schirmer Inc
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
8 Minutes
SSAA a cappella
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Programme Note
Augusta Read Thomas Juggler of Day (2007)
27 October 2007
Cornell University Glee Club
Scott Tucker, conductor
Sage Chapel, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

This composition musically "paints the picture” of a blazing, mid-morning, rising sun that very gradually sets over the horizon.

Program Note:
Scored for female chorus, Juggler of Day sets an Emily Dickinson poem juxtaposing sunrise with sundown, with the ecstatic, billowing textures continually coalescing into full, rich harmonies before dissolving again. A slow but relentless momentum dominates the first half, a long-breathed contrapuntal episode lyrically weaves and criss-crosses the voices, fluctuating like the sun’s glow just before it slides over the horizon, before the music slowly dissipates and fades in the final, twilit section.
— Paul Pellay

Emily Dickinson

Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Leaping like leopards to the sky,
Then at the feet of the old horizon
Laying her spotted face, to die;
Stooping as low as the kitchen window,
Touching the roof and tinting the barn,
Kissing her bonnet to the meadow, —
And the juggler of day is gone!

Sample Pages

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  • 20 FEB 2015
    St Paul’s Knightsbridge, London
    BBC Singers
  • 29 JAN 2015
    Illinois Music Educators Association Conference
    Peoria, IL
    University of Illinois Women's Glee Club
    Andrea Solya, conductor
  • 09 DEC 2014
    Urbana, IL
    UI Women's Glee
  • 27 FEB 2014
    Woolsey Hall, New Haven, CT
    Elm City Girls' Choir
    Rebecca Rosenbaum, conductor
  • 16 MAR 2008
    Juggler of Day Country Premiere
    China Tour
    Beijing, China
    Cornell University Glee Club

    Other Dates:
    20 March - Shanghai, China
    23,25 March - Hong Kong

Juggler of Day, rhythmically and harmonically complex, was set to sunrise and sunset poems by Emily Dickinson....The commissioned piece began "blazing in gold" with sunrise, "leaping like leopards into the sky." Thomas incorporated complex, mixed-meter patterns into this work, to include half-note, quarter-note and eighth-note triplets.
Miles Garrett, Cornell Daily Sun,02/11/2007
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