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Evening Prayers

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Richard Toensing

Richard Toensing

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General Info

Duration: c. 7:50
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In this work, the mezzo-sprano soloist sings in a meditative fashion, with words beseeching succor from her Lord and Savior, mixed with words asking that the coming night be a peaceful one. Against this, the band moves—often with great suddenness and agility—in moments of power, often fading like echoes.

The singer invokes the praise God receives from the Cherubim and Seraphim. Here one must bear in mind that the “Cherubim” of the Bible are not the fat, baby-ish things as so often they are portrayed, but take their name from the Hebrew “Kherub”, which has the same root as “Gryphon”—quite a different matter altogether! It is here that members of the Symphonic Winds perform as prodigies on their instruments, with section voices heard in extremes of range and volume and other times played in barely-audible fashion against a shimmer of background sound.

The music rises in an arch during the section of praise by the Cherubim and Seraphim but subsides briefly as the singer—or perhaps better, the petitioner—implores the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the Martyrs who have gone before, and others of the Hosts of Heaven. Then the immense power returns as the singer, grown confident in her salvation, declares “Holy, Holy, Thrice Holy!” After this, the music quietly settles into the background as flutes and low woodwinds support the singer in a brief “Amen,” and the work ends in a whisper

- Program Note by Jeff Bowell for liner notes of Albany CD Night Songs

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer