For Rental or Perusal

G. Schirmer, Inc
180 Madison Avenue, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Email: Andrew Stein-Zeller
Tel: 212-254-2100
Fax: 212-254-2013

Personal Manager for conducting & Performing

Tammy Moore
Email: Tammy Moore
Tel: 917-612-9364

Sweet May Again (2007)

for string bass and piano

Program Note

Sweet May Again was jointly commissioned by Emanuel Ax, Edgar Meyer and the Carnegie Hall Corporation. It was premiered on April 17th, 2007 in Nashville, TN, and the New York City premiere took place on April 20th, 2007 at the Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. It is dedicated to Edgar Meyer and Emanuel Ax.

Aside from the obvious virtuosity of these two great musicians, my inspiration for the work also came from a short poem by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963):

The Locust Tree in Flower

Among of green

stiff old bright

broken branch come

white sweet May


I was especially intrigued by the structure of this short poem and the surprising final line. I wondered if I could emulate it in music: a work begins with a material which seems going its own way but unexpectedly turning into something almost unrelated, though gentle and comforting.

—Bright Sheng