ALLAN BEVAN, CANADIAN COMPOSER
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.