In 1962 I received my first commission – by the Tanglewood Music Festival - for a work for chorus, brass ensemble, and percussion. I chose the passionate but disillusioned text “What I Expected Was . . .” by Stephen Spender. I set the work with his permission, but then saw that he had revised the final words from “shattering crystal” to “faceted crystal.” “Shattering” made for a much better setting, and he gave me permission to use it in my work.
– John Corigliano