Virko Baley: Music for Emily Dickinson


Catalogue No: TOCC0681
EAN/UPC: 5060113446817
Release Date: 01.09.2023
Composer: Virko Baley
Artists: Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Karen Bentley Pollick, Lucy Shelton, Timothy Hoft, Virko Baley

Virko Baley was born in Ukraine in 1938 and came to the USA as a refugee in 1949, eventually making his home in Las Vegas. He has long been fascinated by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, as can be heard in the two moving works recorded here – one an orchestral song-cycle setting her texts, the other a suite for violin and piano inspired by those settings. They display an acute ear for orchestral colour, a fondness for dramatic gesture and a strong sense of lyricism, occasionally inflected by distant echoes of Baley’s eastern European origins, the richness of the song-cycle placing him downstream from Mahler and Berg and the restraint of the Songs without Words occasionally evoking Arvo Pärt.

Lucy Shelton, soprano
Cleveland Chamber Symphony
Virko Baley, conductor
Karen Bentley Pollick, violin
Timothy Hoft, piano

Listen To This Recording:

Uniforms of Snow for soprano and chamber orchestra (2002-2003) (35:31)

  1. I. Intrada and Song without Words (4:46)
  2. II. ‘Love can do all but raise the Dead’ (2:42)
  3. III. ‘Oh honey of an hour’ (0:59)
  4. IV. ‘I held a Jewel in my fingers’ (2:39)
  5. V. Interlude 1 (1:05)
  6. VI. ‘There is a solitude of space’ (4:23)
  7. VII. ‘Out of sight? What of that?’ (2:24)
  8. VIII. ‘”Hope” is the thing with feathers (3:02)
  9. IX. ‘There is a pain – so utter’ (3:22)
  10. X. Interlude 2: Tren (3:01)
  11. XI. Epilogue: ‘Little Cousins’ (7:08)

Ten Songs without Words for violin and piano (2003-2019) (39:21)

  1. No. 1 Love can do all but raise the Dead (2:48)
  2. No. 2 Oh honey of an hour (1:01)
  3. No. 3 There is a solitude of space (5:15)
  4. No. 4 L’Allegro (2:06)
  5. No. 5 There is a Languor (5:09)
  6. No. 6 Out of Sight? What of that? (1:43)
  7. No. 7 Der Abschied (9:59)
  8. No. 8 It struck me every Day (2:59)
  9. No. 9 There is a pain – so utter (3:16)
  10. No. 10 A Poem of Aleks (5:05)

First Recordings


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