Text by E. E. Cummings. Used with permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
I had the idea to set this lovely Cummings love poem for my friend Hai-Ting Chinn in the early 1990s, while we were both students at the Eastman School of Music, but for whatever reason I didnʼt get around to it until the end of my graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. I wrote it while planning my first symphony—my major work of 1999 and my first successful long form.
i love you much is simplicity itself, and reflects my growing interest in circular key structures (here based on the augmented triad D/F-sharp/B-flat) and symmetrical chord constructions. It also mixes clear tonal function with more abstract concerns—something that continues to preoccupy my compositional thinking.