To the Evening Star

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SATB, flute

William Blake (1757-1827, London) penned this poem around the age of 20, while he was apprenticing as an engraver. Unlike his later works, this poem appeared in letterpress without any of his famous illuminations. 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.

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
AB-040-01
Duration: 
7:15
Total Pages: 
15
Commissioned By: 
The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists
Premiere
Premiere Date: 
12/03/2005
Premiere Ensemble: 
The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists
Premiere Conductor: 
Matthew Culloton
Awards: 

Recorded by The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists ("Wanting Memories" -- Sept 2008, self-released)
Recorded by Vox Humana ("Into the Night: Contemporary Choral Music" -- May 2013, Naxos)

Performances: 

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

Text
Text Author or Source: 
William Blake (1757-1827)
Language: 
English
Text: 

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!

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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.