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The song cycle Sure on this Shining Night (NIght Songs II) was written for Taiwan baritone Lin Chung Guang. The cycle is a companion to the earlier Night Songs. Both cycles explore aspects and images of the night. This song is the seventh song in the cycle.
Sure on this Shining Night is James Agee's 1934 untitled poem, part of a larger work. Here we have the idea of the stars providing a reassurance to someone out late at night, pondering on the meaning of life and man's place in the universe. However there is also a loneliness that comes from realising how vast and empty the universe really is. The setting is simple, lyrical and tonal.
Written for and dedicated to Lin Chung Guang