Gebet (Prayer) was composed in 1989 shortly after moving to Boston to pursue graduate studies in music composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. At that time, my good friend, conductor Scott MacPherson, was pursuing his doctorate in conducting at the University of Southern California. His conducting duties included the Men’s Chorale and he soon commissioned a work from me. I found a brief and beautiful German prayer by the poet Eduard Morike (best know for Hugo Wolf’s 1888 setting for solo voice and piano) and set the text for men’s voices in four parts. The poem expresses modesty, humility, and the satisfaction that comes with a lifetime of joy, sorrow, and the gracious moderation that lies between.