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Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by the Midland High School Meistersingers, Robert Sabourin, director
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by the Campus High School Women's Choir, Becky Riffee, director
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by the Maize High School Women's Choir, Doris Prater, director
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (with strings) by the St. Louis Women's Chorale, Scott Schoonover, director
Bethesda Evensong is a musical setting of the Evening Prayer Service for Choir, Organ and (optional) Strings and Percussion. The music was commissioned by the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea (Palm Beach, Florida) in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the church: 1889-1989.
Of particular interest in this work are the tropical and dramatic elements. In the courtyard of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, palm trees sway in the breeze and tap against the stone church. These tapping sounds are brought into the music as maracas shaking softly, or hands tapping. Rhythmic patterns often "sway" -- created by shifting or irregular meters. The result is an often-traditional musical language infused with tropical sound effects.
This setting of The Lord's Prayer is intended for children's choir, although women's voices are equally effective. And, women's voices may be added to the children as well.
An unusual feature of this anthem is the insertion of the Prayer of St. Francis into the text of the Lord's Prayer. After the lines, "as we forgive those who trespass against us," the choir sings "Lord, make us instruments of thy peace." The choir continues through the Prayer of St. Francis ("where there is sadness, joy...") and then returns to the Lord's Prayer, "and lead us not into temptation..." This return is the climax of the work, with the choir singing in a 3-part canon.
This is an extended (4-minute) and dramatic setting of The Lord's Prayer.
Notes by the composer