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

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
May 22, 2009

For this Memorial Day, the premiere of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Dominick Argento's memorial for his wife and muse of 51 years, soprano Carolyn Bailey Argento. "Evensong: Of Love and Angels" from the National Cathedral performance in 2008.

St. Paul, Minn. — 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.

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

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