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WorksChoral MusicMixed Chorus with accomp.To the Evening Star

To the Evening Star

Voicing: SATB chorus and flute
Text: William Blake (1757-1827)
Duration: 7:15 min.
Commissioned by: The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists
Premiere: Dec. 3, 2005; Saint Paul, MN
Premiered by: The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists; Linda Chatterton, flute
See the score: PREVIEW THE SCORE (pdf)
Published by: Abbie Betinis Music Co., AB-040-01
Order now: Online order form


To the Evening Star: mp3, 7:16, 6.7 MB
Live recording by The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists. Matthew Culloton, conductor.


William Blake, born in London in 1757, penned To the Evening Star around the age of 20, while he was apprenticing as an engraver. Unlike his later works, most famously his collection of poems in Songs of Innocence and of Experience, this poem appeared in letterpress without illuminations. One of the most famous of British poets, Blake is known as a visionary mystic who proclaimed the supremacy of the imagination over the rationalism and materialism of the 18th-century. This musical setting, both intimately tender and fiercely vehement, is meant to depict our human vulnerability as we passionately encounter all of life's beauty.

The composer dedicates this piece to Matthew and Melissa Culloton, on the occasion of their marriage (because nothing says "congratulations" like augmented triads).

To the Evening Star
William Blake (1757-1827)

Thou fair-hair'd angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the
Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,
Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
And then the lion glares through the dun forest:
The fleeces of our flocks are cover'd with
Thy sacred dew: protect them with thine influence!

This poem, to the best of my knowledge, is in the public domain and may be reprinted from this website for use in concert programs and for promotional use as related to this musical work.

Performed by:

The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists; Linda Chatterton, flute (Matthew Culloton, conductor), Minnesota
Blair Collegium Vocale (David Childs, conductor), Tennessee
Winchester Musica Viva, Virginia
Vox Humana; Kara Kirkendoll Welch, flute (David Childs, conductor), Texas

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