The violinist commissioned the piece, which is based on the writings of Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz, and gave its world premiere in Lisbon last month.
"Since my introduction to the writings of Czeslaw Milosz, I have admired and been inspired by his work as I have by few others," Hersch said in a statement. "Over the years I have waited for an appropriate opportunity to incorporate his words into a work."
Hersch got his chance when Midori asked him to write a piece for violin and piano in 2002.
"I find the power and conciseness of his words so absolute that I did not want to set them literally to music," the composer said. "What I wanted to do was write companion pieces to them‹a collection of pieces that would complement the text as much as the text would complement the music‹but leaving the text as I found it: on the page."
The 33-year-old Hersh won the American Composers Prize in 1996 for his Elegy for Strings; his works have since been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and other groups.