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Your Ideal Evensong!


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Pre-service music: Pastorale (Symphonie 3me, iii) - Louis Vierne (followed by an improvisation to get the procession into the stalls)

Introit: Hymne à la Vierge - Pierre Villette

Responses: Philip Radcliffe

Psalms: 90 - Flintoft, in E minor (PPs Ch. 155) and 91 - Bairstow, in G (RSCM Ch. 12)

Office Hymn: Father most holy (EH 160) t: Iste Confessor (EH 188ii)

Canticles: Stanford, in A

Anthems: Bring us, O Lord God - William H. Harris and Lord, thou hast been our refuge - Edward Bairstow

Hymn: All praise to thee (NEH 335) t: Engelberg

Final responses: Naylor

Voluntary: Final (Symphonie 6me, v) - Louis Vierne

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My knowlege of the repertoire is too limited, I fear, to give many specific suggestions. I have to say regarding the initial question, though, that all services should be constructed with a particular day or season in mind - we are not planning a concert. If I may be allowed to air a few prejudices, however....

 

Incoming voluntary - appropriate JSB Choral prelude (appropriate in style, not necessarily words) - you can't beat JSB. Not in my book, anyway. Or a sensitive improvisitation. Or both, if there's time.

 

Office hymn - none - always seems an unnecessary intrusion to me.

 

All the Psalms set, and please, to chants that don't meander aimlessly around before settling on some sort of final chord, but that possess a recognisable harmonic structure. And accompanied with all suitable resources by an Organist who loves painting words with sound, not just uses 8' and 4' on the swell all through. And no silly pauses and stresses that disrupt the flow of the words either.

 

Mag and Nunc - any tuneful setting that doesn't sound like a recording of a especially unpleasant experiment in a vivisection lab. Doesn't automatically exclude a modern setting, but too many I have heard on R3's Choral Evensong broadcasts are just awful. To my ears at least.

 

Anthem - something appropriate for the day or season, but again, please, with a decent tune and not too way-out harmonies.

 

Hymn - again depends on season, 'The day thou gavest', or possibly 'Abide with me' for quiet days, or appropriate for the day.

 

Concluding voluntary - depends upon the day and season, but for a big service 1st mvt Elgar G maj Sonata - love it. For a penitential season, though, suitable JSB again.

 

Sorry if I've offended anyone, I can't help being an old square - but you did ask!

 

Regards to all

 

John

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This is probably not the right topic for my narrative, but it involves the choice of music for a Eucharist at one of our Great English Cathedrals.

 

A visiting choir was expected and so, also, were the details for the setting and motet. Despite the best and continued efforts of the Cathedral Organist to find these out from the visiting choir’s director, answer, as they say, came there none.

 

How would you have filled in the blanks? It would, I think, have been almost impossible to improve upon the solution arrived at by the CO for the cathedral music list: suffice to say that the details for that Sunday appeared with the setting as “Missa Sine Nomine” and the Motet “Oh, that I knew” by Anon.

 

David Harrison

 

A most creative and clever handling by whomever this was! I hope the Visiting Choir's director got the hint...

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Alright, here for good measure are my own thoughts:

 

Opening Voluntary: Prelude modal - Langlais (from 24 Pieces)

Introit: Prayer of King Henry VI - Ley

Responses: Leighton

Office Hymn: From glory to glory advancing

Psalm: 23 or 121

Canticles: Howells in G

Anthem: Hail, gladdening light - Wood

Hymn: Music sounds the joy (Cumbria)

Concluding Voluntary: Rhapsody No. 1 - Howells

 

There is an equally wonderful, but less well-known setting of the Introit by Francis Jackson that I would love to hear instead of the Ley from time to time; it is longer, however, so might be better kept for the anthem slot.

 

Call me soft, but I've always liked those two psalms the best. For 121, it would have to be the incomparable Walford Davies chant; for 23, I would use (as I do at Kendal) the exquisite chant in G major by Vaughan Williams, recently discovered and published by the RSCM.

 

Howells in G was a favourite of the Boys and Men at Bath Abbey. I've been itching to do it in Kendal, but may have to wait a few years until I can get the forces to where they need to be in order to take it on. (Purely as an aside, it's a shame Howells in G isn't thought of by RSCM Area Organisers when planning Diocesan Festival Evensongs - of all his canticles, I reckon it would be more within the grasp of massed local Parish Choirs than the other "dedicated" settings, "Col. Reg." excepted...) As an alternative, I'd do the Chester Canticles by Barry Ball - formerly DoM at the King's School in Chester, whose Choir I sang in as a treble and whose settings we were proud to perform. (Especially these canticles, which were zippy and fun - think Bryan Kelly but less tiring on the voice!)

 

I've also let personal bias get in the way with the last hymn, which was written for me to mark my appointment to Kendal and isn't published (yet) - words by Paul Wigmore, tune by John Barnard; it's a cracker!

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MSW, is it as good as that other Wigmore/Barnard effort, 'No words oh Lord can tell the wonder of your love' with its marvellous tune 'freshwater', surely one of the best of recent years?

 

Yes it is, and proves yet again that Barnard is perhaps the most natural modern composer of "traditional" hymn tunes!

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John Barnard is (or has been) a secondary school master (deputy head, I think, at the John Lyon School in Harrow) and therefore writes tunes that teenage boys would willingly sing. You can always tell composers with this sort of experience because they always write memorable, singable tunes.

 

Malcolm

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I'm always intrigued to see what repertoire (both organ and choral) interests other people on this board, so here's a poser - pick the music for your ideal Evensong service! That is to say, the music which you would include in a service encompassing your favourites.

 

You can choose (some or all of) the following:

 

Opening Voluntary

Introit

Responses

Office Hymn

Psalm

Canticles

1 or 2 Anthems

Two Further Hymns

Concluding Voluntary

 

Since this is designed to just find out what people like, then it is not limited by seasons - so you can mix music from Christmas, Easter, or whichever part of the year you want!

 

I would post mine, but I haven't fully decided yet - I will add it in due course.

 

Dupre: Souvenir (Sept Pieces)

Tallis: Audivi Vocem de Caelo

Responses: Leighton

Psalm 37: Gauntlett, Stanford, Watson

Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling (NO descant!)

Magdalen College Service: Leighton

Byrd: O Lord, Turn Thy Wrath

Dupre: Le Monde dans L'attente du Sauveur

 

The prevailing weather should be wet; the minister would not, apart from the intercessions, use any words not prescribed by the BCP. He should especially not begin "Good afternoon, and welcome to this blah blah blah..." :rolleyes:

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This has had a week now and some very interesting responses, as I hoped, and a lot of music that I don't know!

 

I'm particularly intrigued by the comments of those who prefer a much more low-key affair than the sort of thing I have suggested. When I have attended Cathedral Evensong it has usually been on a Sunday, so I am used to the 'full works' so to speak. Perhaps if I attended weekday evensongs regularly I would appreciate more the low-key style of service suggested by some. I do think having a hymn or two is important though because it gives the congregation some active involvement.

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For the eve of the feast of the English Cadence

 

Voluntary: Quiet improvisation in an appropriate style

Introit: Thou knowest, Lord - Purcell

Responses: Tomkins

Psalm: 80 (the one about the analogy of the Vine), chant Atkins, pointing 'St Paul's Cathedral Psalter'

Office Hymn: anything plain chant

Canticles: Purcell in G minor

Anthem: Remember not, Lord, our offences - Purcell

Voluntary: Bach

 

DT

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This has had a week now and some very interesting responses, as I hoped, and a lot of music that I don't know!

 

I'm particularly intrigued by the comments of those who prefer a much more low-key affair than the sort of thing I have suggested. When I have attended Cathedral Evensong it has usually been on a Sunday, so I am used to the 'full works' so to speak. Perhaps if I attended weekday evensongs regularly I would appreciate more the low-key style of service suggested by some. I do think having a hymn or two is important though because it gives the congregation some active involvement.

 

We're experimenting with "Congregational Evensong" once a month here in Kendal - at least to see whether or not it will up the numbers in the long run - using the following scheme:

 

Responses: Ferial

Psalm: Whatever (Choir only)

Canticles: to Anglican chant, or to Plainsong, or as metrical versions

Anthem: Whatever (Choir only)

plus our usual three hymns (Introit, Office and Final) and two organ voluntaries (Middle and Final).

 

I've already tried this a couple of times; the congregation didn't seem to know what to make of it, however, because they didn't join in the canticles despite them being the metrical versions with which everyone is familiar (Tell out my soul / Faithful vigil ended). I reckon we may simply end up with two "crowds" - one that expects Choral Evensong to be just that, and another that likes plenty of participation but that will only get it once a month (or else we'll lose the Choir who will feel redundant if they have to water things down more frequently) - in which case, we may have to abandon the plan.

 

It's a separate issue entirely, but always an interesting one. John Bell (of Iona Abbey fame) has stated that there is perhaps too much of a "performance culture" in Western Churches, with congregations expected to listen mostly and hence not participate as fully as they could; nonetheless, there is also the expectation that a Choir (especially if well-trained and certainly if professional) should do the lion's share of singing at what is after all a Choral service.

 

Over to other members ... what might you do to make Evensong more "congregation friendly" if desired?

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We're experimenting with "Congregational Evensong" once a month here in Kendal - at least to see whether or not it will up the numbers in the long run - using the following scheme:

 

Responses: Ferial

Psalm: Whatever (Choir only)

Canticles: to Anglican chant, or to Plainsong, or as metrical versions

Anthem: Whatever (Choir only)

plus our usual three hymns (Introit, Office and Final) and two organ voluntaries (Middle and Final).

 

 

Over to other members ... what might you do to make Evensong more "congregation friendly" if desired?

 

This is something which we used to do in alternation with Choral Evensong (for some reason it was billed as "Sung Evensong") with Mag and Nunc to anglican chant. It became the service that nobody liked, with numbers falling off, so we had a rethink. We now use Compline in the modern form (slightly adapted):

 

Choir introit

Opening prayers concluding with sung Alleluia (with congregation)

Office Hymn (one of a selection of four plainsong hymns printed in the service book)(with congregation)

Scriptural sentence

Psalm (Responsorial)(with congregation)

Reading

Homily

Sung responses (quasi-plainsong) "Into your hands O Lord I commend..."

Nunc dimittis (to a setting), preceded and succeeded by "Save us O Lord" (said)

Prayers; Lord's Prayer

Hymn

Final sung responses (quasi-plainsong) "In peace we will lie down and sleep"

Voluntary

 

This alternates with Choral Evensong (with too many hymns for my taste...) and has been successful and popular

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The churches of Brighton and Hove have proved pretty conclusively that congregations have given up on Sunday evening services regardless of whether they are choral, congregational or said. A few choral enthusiasts (mainly choir members - not organists or clergy) have tried to keep Evensongs going here and there but, by and large they fail. To the best of my knowledge there is not one Anglican church in either the Brighton or Hove deaneries (which, in themselves, have got into dreadful and inextricable messes as deaneries) which has Evensong with a choir every Sunday. Up to perhaps twenty years ago I was a great fan of Evensong, especially when Choral, but even I have grown to dislike it intensely for all sorts of reasons.

 

One has to say that there are areas of Brighton that are not terribly pleasant to be in during the evening. One well-known church, very near the sea-front in the town centre and with a devout ecclectic congregation in a non-residential area, now only has sung evening Masses at Christmas, Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday for this very reason. Sad, but people really do fear for their personal safety.

 

Malcolm

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Over to other members ... what might you do to make Evensong more "congregation friendly" if desired?

 

Let me first say that I firmly believe that Choral Evensong is the crowning glory of C of E liturgy, and done well, is a joy and delight to me, and many other like me. Ian Bell may well be right, but I'm sorry to say that the service he espouses from the Iona community lack substance to my eyes and ears, as well as supporting a very 'green' theology which I find disturbing - green issues matter, but that is not what the Christian faith is about. But that is not why I write.

 

I believe there are, broadly speaking, three types of musical establishment in C of E churches.

 

Firstly, those with either the tradition, or the enthusiasm and therefore the money, of a highly skilled DOM, with ability to recruit and train a first class choir to sing, basically, Evensong. Such churches would include Cathedrals, Collegiate chapels and some of our great parish churches. The Eucharist is usually sung also, but Evensong is what it is all about.

 

Secondly, there are those churches who have the services of a skilled musician who can play the Organ, and train a choir, but not to the same standards, nor for performance as often, as those in the first group. Not because he/she is in anyway inadequate, but there just aren't the numbers to sing in his/her choir, nor are they as skilled or experienced, to maintain a greater involvement. Such churches may enjoy an anthem once a month, perhaps, as well as an SATB choir (most of the time, holidays, sickness and family duties allowing) to lead the singing of hymns, and we hope, psalms, but circumstances just don't allow more.

 

Thirdly, there are those churches that have the services of an amateur, of limited ability and available time, who can accompany the service, usually only Holy Communion on Sunday morning - there is no call for or support for Evensong in the sense we are discussing, nor further sung services. The congregation is of limited numbers, so that if there were a choir there would be few left to hear them, and so there is also the limitation on the amount the church can spend on music. Some - a distressingly great number in my opinion - will have abandoned any pretence of maintaining a decent standard of music, not using the Organ which will have been replaced with the dreaded music group, microphones, amplifiers and the rest. Music, if that is the word I'm looking for, will largely consist of the turgid drivel that requires repetition at least five time or it finishes before it has started.

 

The first group of churches will attract two types of congregation member. There are those who genuinely experience worship done by someone else. They are, in a sense, transported to another place by the music, where they worship God silently. The other type are those who enjoy the music, rather as one might enjoy a concert, but without necessarily being involved in worship at any meaningful level. There is, of course, a degree of blurring across these lines, and I am aware that my descriptions are open to accusations of charicature. I think you know what I mean, though. I hope so.

 

The second group will attract a congregation that will proudly proclaim that 'they have a good choir', but wouldn't dream of joining it, and sometimes complain about the repertoire and the cost. They expect to join in everything except the anthem when they have one, and appreciate the occasional descant, but music is not the most important thing in the church, and worship is a matter of participation, not listening. They would be saddened to lose their choir, but don't want it to take over.

 

The third group includes, I suspect, the vast majority of churches across the land today. Either through inclination, caused in part perhaps by a poor musical background, or the attitude of successive ministers hostile to, or at least not especially sympathetic to, the sort of music that members of this board would call church music - 'It's all very well, but it doesn't appeal to the man and woman in the pew. We need something that they recognise as music' (ie, the dreaded music group, as lamented above).' - they have little desire for or appreciation of decent church music. They do love their hymns, though, and some worship songs as well, and enjoy singing them.

 

With regard to the question posed by MSW, the answer may lay in the question '... if desired'. Many of those attending 'Group one' churches may well not welcome attempts to be more involved; that isn't why they are there. And if the church is the custodian of a high quality musical establishment including a highly competent DOM and choir, these latter may well have their noses put out of joint as well. Care is needed, or the worst of all possible outcomes may result.

 

'Group two' churches are already involving the congregation, who would resist any attempt to dilute their contribution; their problem is if the choir wanted to do a monthly choral service with minimum congregational input.

 

'Group three' churches have no problems with involvement if they are using the Organ (or piano or any other single instrument come to that) but without a choir. There is no choral involvement to dilute after all. If though, they are using a music group, they may have unwittingly opened the door to a different kind of musical expertise which may well restrict the very congregational involvement it was intended to encourage. I have attended some such services, and setting aside for a moment the often pathetic level of inspiration of what they are singing (if bellowing into a microphone is singing), the music group often dominate to the extent that there is little point joining in, as the volume is often turned up so high I can't hear if I'm singing or not! Also many of the songs use complex rhythms which the man in the pew can't sing easily - at least, I can't. After all, as far as involvement is concerned, does it matter if the congregation can't sing the psalms or canticles with a highly skilled choir, or they can't sing some rhythmically complex 'worship song' while being deafened by an over enthusiastic sound engineer, the result is the same. The 'experts' have taken over, and congregational input minimised. Whether or not that matters is a matter of church tradition and personal preference, but, of course, this is where we came in.

 

Regards to all

 

John

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A most interesting discussion.

 

I think its important to make the distinction here between cathedrals and parish churches (perhaps save for the few parish churches which, for whatever reasons, have basically a cathedral setup). In a cathedral, then obviously Choral Evensong will be the staple, it should be done well and should attract a decent crowd. At Southwell, where I go reasonably regularly to Evensong (in order to have a service where I don't have to worry about what happens next!), the Sunday afternoon Evensong regularly gets a turnout of 30 or 40, which is probably 'good' nowadays! Especially when you consider how small a place Southwell is for a church that size. That is my opportunity for what John aptly called 'being transported to another place'. That is all good.

 

In a parish church, the situation may be different. At Beeston where I play, the regular turnout at a standard Evensong is often barely in double figures. The choir don't attend regularly - we do about five or six Chorals a year, and sometimes cobble together a few people to help support the singing at a normal sung evensong (chanted psalm and canticles, ferial responses, a simple anthem and three hymns). The rest of the time, they're on their own (although one Sunday evening is given over to Taize/healing services etc, which are popular). But we can do better - on Easter Day for Choral we had a turnout of about 30 plus the choir, and that when some will have started the day at 6am! We did a joint do with another church at the end of June and there were probably 40 or 50 plus an enlarged choir. Advent Carols (although not Evensong) is always popular. I guess what I'm saying is that we only get a good turnout if its a 'special' service or major festival.

 

Does that mean we should give up? I don't think so. The choir are quite happy to get the opportunity to perform some different music - longer anthems, for instance, which don't fit in to a morning Eucharist. If you have a choir who are happy to turn out and sing to a small number, and that small number are appreciative, then I don't see why you can't carry on. If it was every Sunday though, I don't think the choir would be so willing!

 

We have to face the fact that Evensong isn't as popular as it once was, and focus nowadays is very much on the morning Eucharist. But a good Evensong done well (whether Choral or not) still inspires me and I think it would be a shame to drop it completely.

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<SNIP>

 

We have to face the fact that Evensong isn't as popular as it once was, and focus nowadays is very much on the morning Eucharist. But a good Evensong done well (whether Choral or not) still inspires me and I think it would be a shame to drop it completely.

 

I think we also have to face the fact that social customs have changed and there are far more leisure opportunities available to people on Sundays than was the case in years gone by. For many people, the days of attending church twice on Sunday are over.

 

At the church where I do most of my playing, I have observed attendance patterns very similar to what Philip describes. I have noted that, on a Sunday when we have a major evening service (such as a confirmation) that would attract a large congregation, the size of the congregation at the 10am Eucharist can be noticeably less than normal.

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Let me first say that I firmly believe that Choral Evensong is the crowning glory of C of E liturgy...

 

<SNIP>

 

'Group three' churches have no problems with involvement if they are using the Organ (or piano or any other single instrument come to that) but without a choir. There is no choral involvement to dilute after all. If though, they are using a music group, they may have unwittingly opened the door to a different kind of musical expertise which may well restrict the very congregational involvement it was intended to encourage. I have attended some such services, and setting aside for a moment the often pathetic level of inspiration of what they are singing (if bellowing into a microphone is singing), the music group often dominate to the extent that there is little point joining in, as the volume is often turned up so high I can't hear if I'm singing or not! Also many of the songs use complex rhythms which the man in the pew can't sing easily - at least, I can't. After all, as far as involvement is concerned, does it matter if the congregation can't sing the psalms or canticles with a highly skilled choir, or they can't sing some rhythmically complex 'worship song' while being deafened by an over enthusiastic sound engineer, the result is the same. The 'experts' have taken over, and congregational input minimised. Whether or not that matters is a matter of church tradition and personal preference, but, of course, this is where we came in.

 

Regards to all

 

John

 

John, you make a lot of very valid points in your post - particularly the last paragraph. I have not yet experienced being deafened by an 'over-enthusiastic sound engineer' (over-enthusiastic organist, perhaps!) but I have certainly encountered some of the 'rhythmically-complex worship songs' you refer to, with syncopations and sometimes irregular metre that make them difficult for a typical congregation to pick up. Could it be that some of these songs were conceived for performance by accomplished bands and soloists, and never intended for mass participation?

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Could it be that some of these songs were conceived for performance by accomplished bands and soloists, and never intended for mass participation?

 

Very possibly. If so, though, I can't see the difference between this and the 'old fashioned' anthem which the congregation can't join in either!

 

The starting point for my post was the question of participation. 'Music group' worship is lauded in some quarters as the answer to the church's musical and attendance problems, because the style of 'music' (in case you hadn't guessed, I don't enjoy it much) is familiar to those the church wishes to attract. My point is that the 'attractive' style of music so easily becomes a different kind of tyranny, still leaving the congregation unable to join in as originally intended. Perhaps it's inevitable, perhaps expertise always has this result - I don't know. But it happens.

 

Regards to all

 

John

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Over to other members ... what might you do to make Evensong more "congregation friendly" if desired?

 

What about hand movements to go with the evening hymns?? There are lots of possibilities:-

 

Sun setting; going to sleep; terrors of the darkness; stars coming out; the moon going across the sky...

 

 

(only joking :D !!)

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What about hand movements to go with the evening hymns?? There are lots of possibilities:-

 

Sun setting; going to sleep; terrors of the darkness; stars coming out; the moon going across the sky...

 

 

(only joking :( !!)

 

 

Isn't that just the congregation joining in on the chior(boys) role ?!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Roffensis

What fun!

 

Introit-Ave Maria, redemptorist Mother mei (Francisca Cavalle)

 

Responses- Ayleward

 

Psalm 136 (Lloyd Chant)

 

Dyson in D

 

Anthem- What are these in love abounding (Ferris)

 

Hymn- Sun of my soul (Abends)

 

Voluntary- Christ is nailed to the Cross (Ridout)

 

All good stuff!!

 

R

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been pondering this and am really in a quandry since I can't decide! So I have cheated and am nominating two alternatives. Even these are not definitive. In both cases there are no announcements; everything just "happens". Nor are there any "office" hymns, so-called or otherwise.

1. For the dark evening of a grey November day:

Organ prelude: Tiento de falsas de 2° Tono (Pablo Bruna)
Introit: Sancte Deus (Tallis)
Responses: Tallis
Psalms for the 4th evening: Ps 22 (Camidge in E minor and E major); Ps 23 (Walford Davies in E major*)
Canticles: Dyson in F major (Yes, I know, but I like them!!)
Anthem: Save us, O lord, waking (Bairstow)
Hymn: The day thou gavest (tune: St Clement)
Voluntary: Postlude pour l'office de complies (Alain)

* There is more than one WD chant in E major. I want the one with the gorgeous "melt" from B major to D major at the halfway point (as set to Ps 26 in the Lincoln Psalter).

2. For less reflective occasions:

Organ prelude: Clair de lune (Vierne)
Introit: Libera nos, 1st setting (John Sheppard)
Responses: Howells
Psalm for the 3rd evening: Ps 18
     vv.1-6: Ivor Atkins in B flat major (RSCM Chant Book, no. 4)
     vv.7-15: Vox Humana, single chant in C minor (sorry: pure self-indulgence)
     vv.16-27: Hylton Stewart in C major (RSCM Chant Book, no.130)
     vv.28-46: Gerald Knight in G major (RSCM Chant Book, no.84, transposed)
     vv.47-end: G F Huntley in B flat major (New Cathedral Psalter Chants, single star, no.32)

Canticles: St Paul's Service (Howells)
Anthem: Evening Hymn (W H Harris)
Hymn: Thy hand, O God (tune: Thornbury), or, alternatively, For all the saints (tune: Sine nomine)
Voluntary: Set 2, No.3 (Howells)

A good pub for the gentlemen would be required after this lot!

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Gosh!

 

It changes every day for me. I don't think I could ever choose my Ideal Evensong music. What is more important to me is how well the music choices fit together, how well the music is performed, the atmosphere and spirituality of the service and the venue.

 

To me, a really well performed Gibbons short service and If ye love me is vastly preferable for evensong to an over-ambitious attempt at Stanford in A and Faire is the Heaven.

 

For me (today):

 

Introit: Lord, how amiable are thy dwellings - Prendergast

Rose Responses

Psalms for the day

Magnificat - Arvo Part

Nunc Dimittus - Holst

Anthem Geistlichslied - Brahms

Voluntary: Meditation, Dupre

 

No hymns - I am not aware of any offices we need to observe today.

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Introit: Locus iste – Bruckner

Responses: Smith

Psalm: 45 – Ferguson

Canticles: Noble in B minor

Anthem: A Litany – Walton

Voluntary: Placare Christe servulis – Dupre

 

All subject to change depending on what mood I’m in.

 

:blink:

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I have done exactly this in several different parishes, never with a choir, and it has never failed.

 

(with reference to Stainer's HGL tune).

 

Whilst waiting for a rehearsal to begin yesterday I stumbled upon an evening prayer service in a rough end of Bournemouth, with the most extraordinary stone screen with elaborate carvings and statues. Clouds of incense filled the building. Eight of us (including a guy doing playovers on a descant recorder) sang exactly this tune unaccompanied, and a couple of other things too. Was all rather lovely actually!

 

Ideal evensong -

 

Incense and at least 12 candles

 

Introit - Keep me as the apple of an eye - Fielding (go and buy it - it's fantastic)

Psalm - whatever, as long as there's plenty of it, and it's a lovely chant (does anyone know the Jenny Woolgar ones?)

Responses - toss up between Rose and Leighton

Canticles - probably Brewer in D

Anthem - And I saw a new heaven (Bainton)

 

Hymns - Creator of the earth and sky (the plainsong Deus Creator, found only in the NEH as far as I know), and Lead kindly light (Alberta)

 

To finish, an impro on either Tallis' Canon or Te lucis.

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