Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

 

 

If I can stop one heart from breaking - (2015)    

Emily Dickinson

for medium or low voice and piano


 

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

[ 1 page, circa 1' 20" ]


Emily Dickinson

 

The text is found in Dickinson's Complete Poems, (1924). For more on Dickinson please see the additional information accompanying Because I Could Not Stop For Death.

 

 

A simple, long-lined harmonic progression begun on the tonic major seven moves simply over the span of the song to its return. Sostenuto over each two measure phrase is noted, harp-like. The vocal range of a tenth allows the negation, "not," to sing out at the highest point to underpin the affirmation of the text.

 

 

The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.