This gorgeous setting of Rainer Maria Rilke's poem "Abend" captures the dark and mystical undertones of the text. Ogren's masterful scoring in Evening Music allows the soloist to soar above the ensemble so that every poignant word is heard.
Evening Music for soprano and wind ensemble was composed in February and March of 2000 for the St. Olaf College Valhalla Band, James Miller and Jayce Ogren, conductors. It was premiered on May 15, 2000 at St. Olaf College's Boe Memorial Chapel with Jennifer Horak, soprano and the composer conducting.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) has been widely considered the greatest German poet of the early 20th century. "Abend" ("Evening") is from The Book of Pictures (1902), a collection of short poems rich in imagery and with dark, almost mystical undertones. Evening Music is a setting of Stephen Mitchell's English translation of the poem.
The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees:
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;
and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion
of what becomes a star each night, and rises;
and leave you (inexpressively to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasureable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.
Grade Level: 3
Number of Players: Standard + 1
Listen to Recordings
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2/3
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2/3
Piano (wind chimes)
Timpani (suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, bell tree)
Percussion 1 (bells, 4.3-octave marimba, snare drum, triangle)
Percussion 2 (crotales, finger cymbals, bell tree, suspended cymbal, chimes, large tam-tam, anvil)
Percussion 3 (vibraphone, bass drum, tam-tam)