Little Prayers


Little Prayers


for mixed chorus (1986)

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  • Premiere: 15 January 1986  / Florence Gould Hall, Alliance Francaise, New York City  / The NYU Washington Square Chorus / Daron Hagen
  • Instrumentation: SATB
  • Duration: 15'
  • Dedication: "To the memory of Vincent Persichetti"
  • Text: Liturgy, St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Mann, Soren Kierkegaard (E) 
  • This work is published by E.C. Schirmer and therefore unavailable for digital download. To order paper music please visit our print distributor partner, Theodore Front.

I. Almighty Father, Incline Thine Ear(Liturgical) 
II. Our Father, Who Art in Heaven (Liturgical)
III. Why Do You Seek Rest? (St. Thomas Aquinas)
IV. We May Be Heroic (Thomas Mann)
V. Lord, God in Heaven (Soren Kierkegaard)

Program note

World premiere recording on Arsis.

World premiere recording on Arsis.

The first movement, Almighty Father, is dedicated to Lou and Julie Karchin and was completed on 15 August 1987 in New York City. The second movement, Our Father, is dedicated to David Diamond and was finished on 3 July 1987 at the MacDowell Colony. The third movement, Why Do You Seek Rest?, was completed on 22 January 1987 in New York City and is dedicated to Vincent Persichetti. We May Be Heroic was completed on 1 August 1987 and is dedicated to Lynn Freed. The final movement, Lord, God in Heaven, was completed on 9 July 1987 at the MacDowell Colony and dedicated to Richard Danielpour.

First performed as a set on 15 January 1986 by the New York University Washington Square Chorus, conducted by Music Director Daron Hagen, at the New York Alliance Francais, the pieces are available from E.C. Schirmer.


I was especially taken with Daron Aric Hagen's Little Prayers. The American Repertory Singers are excellent -- sensitive and well-controlled -- but without any of the prissiness that can afflict British choral singing.

— Alan Gimbel, The American Record Guide, November / December 1997

Florence Gould Hall

Florence Gould Hall

In Little Prayers, Daron Aric Hagen's technique is reminiscent of Persichetti or Stravinsky. As a group the five prayers are perhaps the least melodic pieces on the recording but are nonetheless beautiful and would compliment any sacred choral program. Nestor's use of dynamic contrast to illustrate Hagen's text painting is exquisite.

— Vernon E. HuffChoral JournalFebruary, 1998

(Banner photo: Washington Square, NYC)