“Superbly judged and structured, with rhythms that reflect the ebb and flow of the words and their mood.”
Edith Cavell was a British nurse celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination and for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, for which she was arrested.
Eventide is the name of the tune of the well-known hymn Abide with Me which was recited by Edith Cavell and an Anglican Chaplain the night before her execution. The hymn is used as a cantus firmus throughout the work sung by a semi-chorus of unbroken voices. A soprano soloist takes on the role of Edith herself singing words from her letters, The Book of Common Prayer and Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. The SATB chorus provides a key role, mirroring Edith’s thoughts and bringing the work to moments of intense climax. Commissioned by the Sheringham & Cromer Choral Society and premiered in Norwich Cathedral in July 2014.
Listen here to Patrick talking on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune about Eventide.
A reduced version for Chamber Orchestra & Organ is also available.