for piano four-hands

Emily Doolittle

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for piano four-hands

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Composer Emily Doolittle



Year of Composition



ca. 7' 30"

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-ed1s1


Sorex was commissioned by the Fung-Chiu Duo for a program of piano four-hand pieces based on the works of Shakespeare. Sorex is the genus name of shrews. I’d always been a bit puzzled by the idea of shrews, whether real or metaphorical, as something that needs taming, since they’re actually pretty amazing animals, and their feistiness is an essential part of that. They’re one of the most common mammals, but we almost never see them. They’re tiny (5-10 grams), but fierce, aggressively defending their territory against any intruders. They must eat every two to three hours to survive, eating up to three times their body weight every day. Their sense of smell is so good they can locate prey buried up to half a foot under the ground. Some species of shrews are even venomous! Although shrews are quite vocal, this lively, scampering piece is based not on the vocalizations but on the character of the shrew.