Advent is a voice solo piece with piano. Alfred composed the piece in two weeks in December in 2003, while living in Nashville. At the top of the score is written: “Für Mechthild Märklin.” The piece is a setting of a Christmas poem of the same title written by Rainer Maria Rilke, the Austro-Hungarian poet of the turn of the 20th century. The text is in the original German; a translation follows.
There in the wintry forest the wind blows
a flock of snowflakes like a shepherd,
and many a fir-tree guesses how soon
it will be pious with holy lights,
and listens. Towards the white path
it stretches out its branches, ready,
and braving the wind and growing toward
that one Night of Glory.