|Publisher||OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS IN-PRINT TITLES|
By Gabriel Jackson
SATB (with divisions) unaccompanied
Am Abend is a setting of 'Grodek', which is thought to be the last work of the Austrian poet Georg Trakl. Written in 1913, the year before Trakl committed suicide at the age of 27, the poem is set in the town of Grodek on the Eastern Front, where he had served as a medical officer. Jackson's setting is agonizingly moving, opening with an eerie alto melody before the rest of the choir enter with haunting harmonies and cluster chords, reflecting the darkness of the text. Grace notes and glissandi add an Eastern flavour and evoke the 'wild lament' and 'dark flutes' of Trakl's poem. Jackson's setting builds to a powerful climax, before the altos close with a quiet, repeated fragment on 'die ungebornen Enkel' ('the unborn grandsons').
First performed by the BBC Singers, directed by Paul Brough, at Milton Court Concert Hall, London, on 11 February 2016.