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Three Prayers

Three Prayers was commissioned by Diana Haskell of the St. Louis Symphony in 2016 and features three Biblical texts.  As her faith is very dear to her and she is very dear to me, this music is of deep emotional import.   The first movement, featuring Psalm 30:4-5, is celebratory and optimistic in its tone.  The second movement, featuring Psalm 30, verse 11-12, is light and dance-like, with a bright vocal melody and perky clarinet interludes.  Following this is a lush and rich contrasting section, the intertwined melodies now flowing and yearning.  The third movement, featuring Isaiah 51:1, is deeply sentimental.  The soprano offers a slow, quiet bid, “Listen to me,” cushioned by rich and delicate piano accompaniment and haunting clarinet lines.  This culminates in a powerful, emotional climax, followed by a starkly beautiful, sensitive ending.
Whatever your faith or lack thereof, this music is meant to inspire love, grace, and beauty, and it welcomes all to a moment of tranquility.
Duration: 8 min.



Psalm 30:4-5

4 Sing praise to the LORD,

    all his faithful people!

Remember what the Holy One has done,

    and give him thanks!

5 His anger lasts only a moment,

    his goodness for a lifetime.

Tears may flow in the night,

    but joy comes in the morning.



Psalm 30, verse 11-12:

11 You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance;

    you have taken away my sorrow

    and surrounded me with joy.

12 So I will not be silent;

    I will sing praise to you.

LORD, you are my God;

    I will give you thanks forever.



Isaiah 51:1

51 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness

    and who seek the LORD:

Look to the rock from which you were cut

    and to the quarry from which you were hewn.


Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;

    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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