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Dominick Argento's Memorial: 'Evensong: Of Love and Angels'

Carolyn Bailey as Venus in John Blow's "Venus and Adonis." (1963) Photo: The Minnesota Opera
4min 7sec : Argento speaks with Fred Child
7min 19sec : 1. Threnody -- orchestral prelude
4min 13sec : 2. Preces: Phos Hilaron -- solo treble (an Angel) chorus (The Afflicted) and orchestra
5min 7sec : 3. Psalm 102 -- chorus a capella
13min 16sec : 5. Sermon -- solo soprano
5min 37sec : 6. Meditation -- orchestral intermezzo
3min 57sec : 7. Canticle: Nunc Dimitis -- chorus and orchestra
4min 19sec : 8. Prayer/Lullaby -- solo treble
54min 5sec : Dominick Argento,
36sec : 4. The Lesson - reader
9min 28sec : 9. Anthem -- chorus and orchestra

Memorial Day has been celebrated in the United States since the Civil War to provide a public means of mourning those lost in battle.

This Memorial Day we're sharing a work written as a memorial for a civilian, a casualty of nothing spectacular except the end of her life.

Dominick Argento says "Evensong: Of Love and Angels" means more to him than anything else he's ever written. Photo courtesy of VocalEssence

But with her passing and a means to express his grief musically, she inspired her husband composer to not collapse into despair, but to continue his life's work.

Dominick Argento considers "Evensong: Of Love and Angels" his best work. Most of the text is original, but includes words from the office of Evening Prayer, the service for the close of day.

Premiered in March of 2008 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Washington's National Cathedral, J. Reilley Lewis leads the Cathedral Choral Society Chorus and Orchestra; Elizabeth Futral, soprano; Nelson James LePard Reed, boy soprano and Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III, reader.

Elizabeth Futral, soprano

Nelson James LePard Reed, treble Cathderal Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III, reader

Cathedral Choral Society chorus and Orchestra

J. Reilly Lewis, Music Director

Recorded March 2, 2008, National Cathedral, Washington, DC

Carolyn Bailey as Venus in John Blow's "Venus and Adonis." (1963) Photo: The Minnesota Opera
Composer Dominick Argento and conductor Reilly Lewis go over the full score of "Evensong: Of Love and Angels." Photo courtesy of Reilly Lewis

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