Vigil I (2020)

For three SATB vocal quartets • 4′

Dunedin Consort commission

Commissioned in 2020 by Dunedin Consort, Vigil I is a setting of the first poem in the sequence ‘Vigilien’ by Rainer Maria Rilke. The ‘Vigilien’ poems were published in Rilke’s Larenopfer (1895), a cycle of 90 poems that turn their gaze towards Rilke’s native city of Prague at the close of the nineteenth century. The first poem in ‘Vigilien’ speaks of dusk becoming night – of an atmosphere that is charged, wakeful, and expectant. Vigil I employs both Rilke’s German text and an English translation by Jessie Lemont from 1918. Three vocal quartets interweave the German and English texts.