This New Sounds program takes a new look at the ancient form of ritual music for evening prayer – Vespers.  This evening prayer service, also known as “eveningsong,” is found in both Western and Eastern (Byzantine) Catholicism, along with Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, and some Protestant denominations as well.  The idea was to have a service at sunset, when the sun’s angle would hit the church and set it aglow with magical light through the stained glass windows. 

We’ll hear a bunch of new takes on the Vespers, most not involving the voice or prayer, yet still the music captures the sense of ritual, when things become dark and still.  Listen for music by Oscar Bettison - his "Gauze Vespers," Wendy Carlos arranging Monteverdi, film music by John Zorn, and something from the Ivo Haarla Quintet.

PROGRAM #3321 Vespers, New Sounds-style  (First aired on 4/5/2012)                                                 





Wendy Carlos

The Well-Tempered Synthesizer

Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206 : Domine ad adjuvandum Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers: Domine Ad Adjuvandum [2:23]

East Side Digital E81612
Out of print.  Try or auction sites

Anonymous 4

Darkness into Light

John Tavener: Vespers Hymn O lux beata trinita [2:17]

Harmonia Mundi 907274

John Zorn

The Last Supper
Film Works XXII

Vespers [3:37]

Tzadik Records TZA 7371

Oscar Bettison

Chamber and Orchestral Works

Gauze Vespers [9:03]

Not yet commercially released. Info and downloads at



Standing Still [5:47]

Soft Landing Records SLR002
Available at CDBaby
Info at

Mark O’Leary

On The Shore

Vespers [6:09]

Cleanfeed 091, download from, Amazon or iTunes

Tord Gustavsen Trio

Being There

Vesper [4:27]

ECM 2017

Iro Haarla Quintet


Vesper [8:46]

ECM 2172

Alvin Lucier

Vespers and Other Early Works


New World 80604

Ralph van Raat, piano

Gavin Bryars: Piano Concerto, "The Solway Canal"

Gavin Bryars: After Handel’s Vesper, excerpt [4:00]

Naxos 8.572570