I'm proud to announce that Cypress Choral Music of Vancouver will be releasing new works of mine over the next while. The new publications include two new works as well as re-voicings of two of my older 'standards'. The new works are "Evening Song" for SATB and piano, and "Yeat's Cradle Song" for SA and piano on a charming text by the great Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. More information on "Evening Song" can be found in the blog entry below this one, and the score can be viewed, and a wonderful recording of the piece by Pro Coro Canada can be heard at the Cypress website.
I'm pleased to say that after twenty some years following their original publication, I have circled back to my "To Morning" and "Ave Maria" (both originally scored for treble voices) and produced SATB and TTBB versions of both pieces. These will be made available by Cypress in the winter of 2024. I completed the rescoring of these in the fall of 2023 and I will be looking forward to hearing these in the near future. More on their release dates coming soon!
To Michael Zaugg, Pro Coro Canada, and pianist Leanne Regehr for the beautiful performance of my Evening Song as part of their Shades of Love concert, October 15 in Edmonton. This piece was completed in December 2019 just before the onset of the pandemic. Evening Song sets a short poem by Sidney Lanier, who was a Civil War veteran and Professor of Literature at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore:
Look off, dear Love, across the sallow sands,
And mark yon meeting of the sun and sea,
How long they kiss in sight of all the lands.
Ah! longer, longer, we.
Now in the sea's red vintage melts the sun,
As Egypt's pearl dissolved in rosy wine,
And Cleopatra night drinks all. 'Tis done,
Love, lay thine hand in mine.
Come forth, sweet stars, and comfort heaven's heart;
Glimmer, ye waves, round else unlighted sands.
O night! divorce our sun and sky apart
Never our lips, our hands.
The middle verse is a reference to a friendly bet between Antony and Cleopatra as to who could host the most expensive dinner party. Cleopatra won the bet by removing a priceless pearl ear ring and dissolving it in a cup of wine.
I'm pleased to say that this work will be made available to all choirs by Cypress Choral Music later this year. Finally I would like to thank Russ Mann for his foresight and assistance with the initial conception of this special work.
Listen to an excerpt from "Perfectly Mad..." Tableau 4 (Alleluia-Amen)
Courtesy of Robert Cooper and Chorus Niagara
is my most recent larger-scale composition for chorus, a quartet of soloists, narrator, and chamber orchestra (duration ca. 40'). "Perfectly Mad..." (completed 2023) explores the connection between creativity and mental illness and takes as its inspiration, British writer, artist, and visionary William Blake (1757-1827).
The initial performances of the work took place on April 30, and May 6, 2023 in Toronto and St. Catharines, Ontario respectively. I would like to express my gratitude to all the wonderful performers involved: Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Chorus Niagara, the Sidgwick Scholars (Leslie Higgins, soprano; Lissy Meyerowitz, mezzo; Arieh Max Sacke, tenor; Dante Mullin-Santone, bass) the Concordo Ensemble, Madeleine Cooper, stage director, Benedict Campbell, narrator, and Robert Cooper, C.M. conductor. Thanks to all for your part in making these performances so special!
Between the pandemic, a move from Ontario to the Edmonton area, finishing up another large-scale composition and my conducting and church music work I've had my hands full!
I'm pleased to say that I am all settled in and looking forward to a return to my composing and concertizing.
I would like to thank the following organizations and conductors for the wonderful interpretations of my music:
Ariose: Jolaine Kerley, conductor, Edmonton, Alberta
Dec. 4, 2021 - for an amazing performance of my To Morning;
May 14, 2023 - for Harp of Wild and Voices of Earth ( a commission from Ariose)
Toronto Orpheus Choir and Chorus Niagara: Robert Cooper, conductor, St. Catharines, and Toronto, Ontario
April 29, and May 7, 2023 - brilliant premiere performances of my "Perfectly Mad..."
(composed 2020-2023) for chorus, chamber orchestra, soloists and narrator. Thank you to all involved, and special thanks to Robert Cooper.
Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus: David Garber, artistic director, Edmonton, Alberta
March 19, 2023 - it was my pleasure to guest-conduct the chorus in a program of my own compositions, including rarely heard works such as A Child's Evening Prayer, (2006) The Time Draws Near, (2003) The Garden, (2006) Singers to Come, (2005) and Full Fathom Five (2004). Special thanks to David, and all the singers and players for such a meaningful and thrilling concert.
Pro Coro Canada: Michael Zaugg, conductor
January 23, 2022 - the beautiful premiere performance of my Evening Song (composed 2019) and for my motet The Eclipse (composed 2000) at their annual Good Friday Concert, 2022.
Kammerchor Cappella Quirina Neuss: Joachim Neugart, conductor, Neuss, Germany
October 11, 2022 - lovely performances of my motet Peace (composed 2001) in Edmonton and on tour in the U.S.A. and Germany. Thank you Joachim Neugart and your amazing singers for such a wonderful performance and inspiring visit to Robertson-Wesley United, Edmonton.
Harp of wild and dream-like strain,
When I touch thy strings,
Why dost thou repeat again
Harp, in other earlier days,
I could sing to thee;
And not one of all my lays
Vexed my memory.
But now, if I awake a note
That gave me joy before,
Sounds of sorrow from thee float,
Yet, still steeped in memory’s dyes,
They come sailing on,
Darkening all my summer skies,
Shutting out my sun.
Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)
It is impressive what this choir is able to inspire by their musicianship and vision. This year, I was chosen as a finalist (and ultimately as a first prize winner) in their C4 competition based on my composition, Full Fathom Five.
A beautiful photo capturing the first performance of Ancient of Days, on April 15th, 2019. Much thanks to all who helped make this concert possible. It was such an honour and a pleasure working with and for such an inspiring group of musicians.
I would like to recommend one my recent publications with Cypress Choral Music, Vancouver, (CP1490). The work is scored for SATB and piano and sets a poem by one of my favourite poets, Rupert Brooke (1887-1915).
The recording below is by the Saskatoon Chamber Singers, James Hawn, conductor. This fine choir commissioned the work and first performed it at their annual Remembrance Day concert in 2016. The poem is also fitting for nature or Spring concert themes.
Click to listen from the Cypress Soundcloud here:
View the score: here
ALL suddenly the wind comes soft,
And Spring is here again;
And the hawthorn quickens with buds of green,
And my heart with buds of pain.
My heart all Winter lay so numb
The earth so dead and frore,
That I never thought the Spring would come,
Or my heart wake any more.
But Winter’s broken and earth has woken,
And the small birds cry again;
And the hawthorn hedge puts forth its buds,
And my heart puts forth its pain.
I would like to express my gratitude to Robert Cooper and everyone at Chorus Niagara and Toronto Orpheus Choir for the outstanding performances of my new work (Last Light) for chorus, soloists, and orchestra on November 4 and 5 respectively. Cannot imagine how it could have been better! Singers, players, soloists, narrators, all superb! All in all, a composer's dream!
Above: Soloists, players, and Chorus Niagara on stage at Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines. Photo courtesy of Chorus Niagara.
Below: Soloists, narrators, players, and Toronto Orpheus Choir, Robert Cooper conducting, on stage at Grace Church on-the-Hill, Toronto. Photo credit: Tony Bock, courtesy of Toronto Orpheus Choir.
Chorale Saint-Jean of Edmonton, directed by Dr. Laurier Fagnan is in Ottawa to participate in the Canada 150 celebrations. This fine francophone ensemble for which I have done many works for over the years is singing at a number of events over the holiday weekend. Among the many things the choir is doing is presenting their own stand-alone concert entitled J'Appartiens, on Sunday evening July 2. The concert is named after my arrangement of Dr. France Levasseur-Ouimet's lovely bilingual song written especially for the occasion. Congratulations Chorale Saint-Jean!
Listen at the Cypress Choral Music Soundcloud here:
http://cypresschoral.com/PDF/SampleCP1502.pdfAllan Bevan's award-winning Passion Oratorio, Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode (2005) is released in a smaller orchestra version requiring only seven players. The full score is now available from classica Music Publishers. A very successful Carnegie Hall premiere with this new version in March 2016.
Stars for SA and piano on an inspiring text by Canadian poet Marjorie Pickthall is now available from Santa Barbara Music Press (SBMP 1398). This accessible work (good for graduation exercises) was commissioned by the Branksome Hall Chamber Choir, Toronto. More information about Stars at SBMP. You can view and download a perusal score at this link.
All Suddenly the Wind for SATB and piano on a poem by Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke (see elsewhere on this Blog for more on this piece). This piece was commissioned by the Saskatoon Chamber Singers and first performed by them at their Remembrance Day concert in 2015.
View and listen to the score at Cypress Choral Music CP 1490. The text isn't restricted to Remembrance as it could provide a different perspective for spring concerts. See below in this Blog for further comments on the premiere.
Sweet Trees That Shade This Mould of Earth for SSA and piano on a text translated from the original Spanish by James Mabbe, a contemporary of Shakespeare's. This will be my first original composition to be published by Rhythmic Trident Music Publishing of Vancouver (they also publish my three arrangements of Danny Boy).
J'appartiens (I Belong) for SATB and piano (CP 1502) and SSA and piano (CP 1524). This is the latest collaboration between France Levasseur-Ouimet and Allan Bevan on a commission from Chorale Saint-Jean, Edmonton. The text is a bilingual French-English combination written especially for the choir's use at Canada 150 celebrations in 2017. Lots of performances of this piece coming this year. Check it out here: http://cypresschoral.com/PDF/SampleCP1502.pdf
Sincere thanks to all involved in the fantastic performance at Trinity St. Pauls on April 23 (400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death to the very day)! Prologue Geraint Wyn-Davies, soprano Maeve Palmer, the Toronto Orpheus Choir, the Talisker Players, and conductor Robert Cooper were superb. A big thanks to the stage and managerial staff too. The lighting (a first in this performance) was very effective and dramatic. Thank you all for your superlative interpretative skills! It was truly a night to remember.
A thrilling excerpt from the final part of the performance can be accessed here: www.orpheuschoirtoronto.com/blog-media/media/
Saturday, April 23rd, 7:30 PM
Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West
Pre-Concert Chat with Robert Cooper, Geraint Wyn-Davies and Allan Bevan begins at 6:45.
Revel in the genius of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and sonnets through words, music and song featuring Stratford Festival star Geraint Wyn Davies. Orpheus’ season Finale spotlights the choral-drama No Mortal Business, a stirring and visionary creation by Canadian composer Allan Bevan, inspired by The Tempest and performed on the 400th Anniversary of the death of the Bard.
Under the artistic direction of Robert Cooper, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto will be joined by The Talisker Players and actor Geraint Wyn Davies – blending the best known songs and prose from Shakespeare’s final literary masterpiece into a rich, lyrical, multi-dimensional performance.
Attended a fantastic performance of my No Mortal Business at the Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, on March 13, 2016. It was a real pleasure to be back in Alberta and to experience such fine singing, playing, and acting. Special thanks to Sarah Schaub, soprano, Timothy Anderson, actor, the Richard Eaton Singers, and the RES Chamber Orchestra, all led by Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. Hearty congratulations to all!
Further information on this composition can be found in past blog entries below.
My thanks to all the singers, players, Jolaine Kerley, soprano, Timothy Anderson, actor, and to conductor Richard Sparks for the incredible performance of Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode in New York on March 7, 2016 in a concert entitled Between Heaven and Earth. Carnegie Hall is a unique and beautiful place for making music and it was a very memorable night. Thanks to Iris Derke, and all the great folks at DCINY who assisted in making Between Heaven and Earth possible.
If you are in the greater Vancouver area the weekend of March 18-20, 2016 take in the B.C. premiere of my Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode. The choirs of Trinity Western University, Vancouver, directed by Dr. Joel Tranquilla will perform the original version (full orchestra) of the work on the Friday evening in Surrey, and the Saturday evening in Abbotsford.
...and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me that,
when I waked, I cried to dream again.
William Shakespeare - The Tempest
If you are in Edmonton in February you are invited to take in what promises to be a spectacular event at one of Canada's greatest concert halls.
Monday, 22 February 2016, 7:30 pm
Francis Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton
Mozart “Requiem” & Bevan “Nou Goth” A send-off concert… prior to Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus’s performance in New York City’s Carnegie Hall
Allan Bevan “Nou Goth Sonne under Wode”
Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus
David Garber, Artistic Director
i Coristi Chamber Choir
Rob Curtis, Music Director
Edmonton Metropolitan Orchestra
Danielle Lisboa, Artistic Director
Tony Olivares Dance
Tony Olivares, Artistic Director
2J Pantoja, Head Instructor
Jolaine Kerley, soprano; Mireille Rijavec, alto
RJ Chambers, tenor; David McCune, bass
Timothy J. Anderson, actor
Jeremy Spurgeon, organ
The second concert in our 2015-2016 subscription series is the result of an incredible invitation that EdMetro Chorus received… to perform in New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall. Prior to the Carnegie Hall debut, Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus presents this special concert Edmonton’s Winspear Centre for Music.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart “Requiem”, conducted by Danielle Lisboa
One of the classical music’s most beloved compositions, written by a 35-year old musical genius – unfortunately, uncompleted at the time of his death in 1791. A unique feature of this performance will be the placement of the alto, tenor and bass trombones in the Choir Loft – with their respective choral singers. Nearly 200 performers: two choirs, orchestra, organ, dancers, athletes, soloists.
This performance of Mozart “Requiem” will feature choreography by Tony Olivares, Artistic Director of Tony Olivares Dance. Tony, along with 12 male dancers and athletes, will be presenting the WORLD DEBUT of a new NEW dance form, “ModaKour”… the blending of the grace and strength of Modern Dance with the agility and athleticism of Parkour. A must see!
Allan Bevan “Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode”, conducted by Rob Curtis
At its world premiere in 2005, presented by Pro Coro Canada, and conducted by Richard Sparks, this modern masterwork received an overwhelming and ecstatic response from the sold-out Winspear audience. Witness the recreation of this modern masterwork, which Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus will be performing a few weeks later in Carnegie Hall.
Tickets available on-line from TIX on the Square.Orchestra Level $25; Terrace $30; Dress Circle $35; Upper Circle $20
This concert is made possible through a generous grant from the Edmonton Community Foundation.
The Canadian Chamber Choir, (Dr. Julia Davids, Conductor, Dr. Joel Tranquilla, Associate conductor) has released their new recording Sacred Reflections of Canada - A Canadian Mass recently, and what a fine recording it is!
Seventeen Canadian composers are represented in all. The singing is superb, and the production values are first-rate.
Congratulations, and thank you CCC for your outstanding contribution to the sacred choral tradition in this country.
Listen to Allan Bevan's, Hide Thy Face from the CD:
To find out more about purchasing this recording and to check out the recent activities of the Canadian Chamber Choir please follow this link:
The Canadian Chamber Choir
Allan Bevan's Hide Thy Face for unaccompanied SATB voices is published by classica Music Publishers on Canada's west coast! See the score here. More information on this work can be found in the Listen section of this web-site. Hide Thy Face is available directly from the publisher or from J. W. Pepper in the U.S.A.
All Suddenly the Wind is a brand new composition for SATB voices and piano commissioned by The Saskatoon Chamber Singers, James Hawn, director. This work came about as part of a silent auction at the Association of Canadian Choral Communities Podium 2014 where choirs were encouraged to bid on the creation of a new composition. The resulting work will be premiered by SCS on November 11, 2015 as part of their annual Remembrance Day concerts. Text for the work is by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915). Brooke, had an extremely promising career as a man of letters cut short by illness while serving in the military.
The Bow of Sound is a brand new piece composed for the opening of the new concert hall in St. Catharines, ON. The work was commissioned by Chorus Niagara, Robert Cooper, C.M. conductor and it will receive its premiere on Saturday, November 7, 2015 under the baton of Maestro Cooper. The new building is part of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, which among other features, includes the 700-seat concert space to be called Partridge Hall. The project is an innovative one, being a combined effort of Brock University and the city of St. Catharines.
The Bow of Sound is a six-minute piece for chorus and orchestra composed over the summer of 2015. It sets the poetry of Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933), long-time Professor of English at Princeton University. The concert will feature the combined choirs of Chorus Niagara, the McMaster University Chorus, (about 160 voices in all) and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. Music by Bruckner and Finzi will also be featured on this exciting inaugural program and there is an exciting array of up and coming soloists involved as well. You are invited to be a part of this important event in the Niagara region! Tickets and more information here.
Voicing: SATB a cappella
Text: Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)
Published by: Cypress Choral Music CP1275, (2014)
Retail: Sheet Music Plus (you can view the score and listen here); Long and McQuade
A work commissioned by Chorale Saint-Jean, Dr. Laurier Fagnan, director, and first performed in Edmonton by the choir, and on tour in France. This work is a challenging fin de siècle setting of Apollinaire's iconic poem about lost love at the Mirabeau bridge in Paris and quite unlike other versions.
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure
Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l'onde si lasse
L'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
L'amour s'en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l'Espérance est violente
Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Guillaume Appolinaire (1880 - 1918)
from Les Alcools, 1912
Voicing: Soprano Solo, SATB and piano; Narrator; Dancers; Mixed media
Text and Melodies by: France Levasseur-Ouimet (text in French)
Arranged by: Allan Bevan
Published by: L'Alliance des Chorales du Quebec, distributed by Editions Gam, Montreal
Enjoy a lovely montage of a recent performance of France Levasseur-Ouimet's Canadian masterpiece, Elles s'appelaient Marie. This is an extended work (duration 50') taking as its subject the trials and tribulations of the work's heroine Marie, (soprano solo) a Quebec-born woman who homesteads in the early years of the province of Alberta. The performance comes from Gatineau, QC and features their live sound track of the work's final movement Je te Salue, Marie. Elles s'appelaient Marie was commissioned by Chorale Saint-Jean, Dr. Laurier Fagnan, director, in 2006 and first performed by them in Edmonton the following year. The work was featured at Choralies 2012 (the world-wide francophone choral congress). The YouTube excerpt below is taken from an April, 2015 performance in the L'Eglise St.-Francois-de-Sales, Gatineau, QC. The Choeur classique de l'Ouataouais, Tiphanie Legrand, conductor, and the Chorale de l'Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, Robert Filion, conductor, combine forces in this production. The complete work is available from Editions Gam in Montreal, as are four of the individual movements which are available separately.
Profitez d'une belle montage d'une performance récente du chef-d'œuvre canadienne de France Levasseur-Ouimet, Elles s'appelaient Marie. Ceci est un travail prolongé sur les épreuves et les tribulations de Marie, (soprano solo) une femme d'origine québécoise qui Propriétés dans les premières années de la province de l'Alberta. Elles s'appelaient a été commandé par la Chorale Saint-Jean, Laurier Fagnan, directeur, en 2006.