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Your Kiss (2019)

For soprano and piano
Text by e.e. cummings

Premiere performance of the soprano version was by Claire Booth and pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen on a recording made for Nimbus Records (CD#: NI4602) which was released on May 1, 2020.
Duration: 6 minutes and 30 seconds

Range of soprano version is C4 to A6.
Versions also exist for mezzo-soprano, countertenor, and tenor.

Performance by Claire Booth and pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen.

CD Available
Colors of Love - Chanticleer

This work is available on Augusta Read Thomas: The Auditions


Nicholas Phan, tenor; John Arida, piano. World Premiere performance at the 2019 Collaborative Works Festival.


Your Kiss sets a love poem by e.e. cummings, i have found what you are like, and at first glance it is telling that the poem in question is one that exudes love without ever actually mentioning the word itself. Instead, the perfumes conjured by cummings' words slowly float, swirl and eddy in the air until they finally come to rest on the last two words, which furnish the work's title. As with the words, so with the music, as the soprano similarly floats her rhapsodic melismas, and piano chords gently anchor her in Thomas' harmonic fields. Love knows no time, cummings seems to say, and Thomas slows time down with her music to prove his (and her) point.

Copyright © Paul Pellay


e. e. cummings

i have found what you are like
the rain,

(Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily the pale club of the wind
and swirled justly souls of flower strike

the air in utterable coolness

deeds of green thrilling light
with thinned

newfragile yellows


-in the woods


And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
your kiss


Used with permission of the Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Copyright 1923, 1925, 1944, 1951, 1953, 1963, 1972, 1991 by the
Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.
Copyright 1976 by George James Firmage.

Selected Reviews

Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone “Setting one of EE Cummings’s most rapturous poems, Your Kiss draws a suitably fervent response from soprano and piano as it heads toward an ecstatic close.”


Claire Booth

Andrew Matthews-Owen. (Photo Credit: Nicholas Dawkes)

To obtain examination or performance material for this
Augusta Read Thomas work, please contact Nimbus Music Publishing.