Composer: Shapiro, Alex
Publisher: Alex Shapiro
for flute, clarinet, bassoon, and piano
by Alex Shapiro (b. 1962)- American composer
- Phos Hilaron
- Nunc Dimittis
- Ascendit Deus
Evensong Suite was commissioned by St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Mar Vista, CA. Although it was composed specifically for an Anglican Evensong service, during which each movement precedes or follows a corresponding prayer or reading, the pieces is equally effective when performed in a concert setting.
The Prelude opens the Suite in a pastoral mood, using a rising motive which reflects the Ascensiontide occasion for the piece. The Phos Hilaron offers a slow and quiet melodic glow, with occasional flashes in the musical embers evoking the beauty of the last vesper light of a setting sun. The Magnificat traditionally the dramatic center of the Evensong service, uses strong opposing motives which refer to the mighty being cast down from their thrones and the meek begin lifted up. Nunc Dimittis is a pensive lullaby which blossoms into contentment and inner light. The Asendit Deus was written for the Offertory for the Sunday after the Ascension and is an explosion of joyful ascending lines and dancing rhythms. Finally, the Postlude begins with a contemplative and noble chorale referencing motives and moods from the earlier Prelude and Magnificat bringing the Suite to a triumphant conclusion.