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For anyone who missed it - live from Guildford today and definitely worth a listen.   The Nunc Dimittis from Howells St Pauls Service was one of the finest things I've heard. A wonderful performance, beautifully recorded.

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Seconded.  The entire service was marvellous, the acoustic is now so much better for music since the removal of the original ceiling tiles.  The Howells St Paul's service was very fine, as Darius has said.  Do listen to it on BBC Sounds in the next month if you have an opportunity.

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Keep and ear out for Canterbury Cathedral's broadcast of choral evensong on the 14 October.  I have a vested interest as my twin boys (now full choristers) are singing.  From memory, the music is Stanford in A and I was glad - Parry.  It should be a good shout!  You will get a chance to hear the revamped organ and the terrifying Ophicleide on the Solo division.  Evensong is currently in the nave and the organ certainly makes it's presence felt, the new pedal stops shaking the place.  The choir will be singing in the choir of the cathedral for the broadcast, but not in the choir stalls.  Tomorrow is the first day with the boys and men (Wood in Eb no. 2).  All services are webcast and can be seen on Youtube.  It's been really tough on the choristers as they are all socially distanced 6,7 and 8 in one bubble with the probs (year 4) and new full choristers (year 5) in the other which is slightly separated from the others.

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I don't normally listen to Choral Evensong! Despite it being one of the glories of the 1549/1552/1662 Prayer Book and the English Reformation it is not part of my tradition.

However on Darius' recommendation I listened to the recording from Guildford. I have to say that it was as fine as any I have heard for a very, very long time. Thank you Darius - and to KD-W and the choir from Guildford. Sitting in the middle of rural France listening to English Liturgical practice and, particularly to Coe Fen seemed slightly bizarre but brought back all kinds of feelings and happy memories! 

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17 hours ago, Paul Isom said:

Keep and ear out for Canterbury Cathedral's broadcast of choral evensong on the 14 October.  I have a vested interest as my twin boys (now full choristers) are singing.  From memory, the music is Stanford in A and I was glad - Parry.  It should be a good shout!  You will get a chance to hear the revamped organ and the terrifying Ophicleide on the Solo division.  Evensong is currently in the nave and the organ certainly makes it's presence felt, the new pedal stops shaking the place.  The choir will be singing in the choir of the cathedral for the broadcast, but not in the choir stalls.  Tomorrow is the first day with the boys and men (Wood in Eb no. 2).  All services are webcast and can be seen on Youtube.  It's been really tough on the choristers as they are all socially distanced 6,7 and 8 in one bubble with the probs (year 4) and new full choristers (year 5) in the other which is slightly separated from the others.

I do wonder why the Ophicleide has been voiced so boldy on this division, plus the fact that it's on 20 inches wind pressure? Seems totally over the top to me. Here it is demonstrated at 5:30 here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQzhUhsk1cQ

I hope the new organ is more sympathetic to the singers than it was with the instrument pre-restoration. The Quire at Canterbury is not the best location for singing, everything is mopped up by the heavy stonework of the Quire and screen. But the old organ was the most frustrating experience to sing with, immense sympathy was required to achieve any balance with the choir. Hopefully the new-ish choir division will resolve this problem.  

 

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20 hours ago, Paul Isom said:

Keep and ear out for Canterbury Cathedral's broadcast of choral evensong on the 14 October.  I have a vested interest as my twin boys (now full choristers) are singing.  From memory, the music is Stanford in A and I was glad - Parry.  It should be a good shout!  You will get a chance to hear the revamped organ and the terrifying Ophicleide on the Solo division.  Evensong is currently in the nave and the organ certainly makes it's presence felt, the new pedal stops shaking the place.  The choir will be singing in the choir of the cathedral for the broadcast, but not in the choir stalls.  Tomorrow is the first day with the boys and men (Wood in Eb no. 2).  All services are webcast and can be seen on Youtube.  It's been really tough on the choristers as they are all socially distanced 6,7 and 8 in one bubble with the probs (year 4) and new full choristers (year 5) in the other which is slightly separated from the others.

At least Canterbury have, by the sound of things, all their choristers in full voice. Certainly doing better than at least one cathedral I can think of where the choristers are not singing services for the whole term! I am also a Cathedral volunteer and missing being on duty. I trust that your sons are enjoying their time as choristers.

Dave

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Tonight was the first evensong with six of the men at Canterbury (dec and can men are alternating).  It was pretty good and as you can gather, I am a very proud dad of twin choristers.  Canterbury has a brilliant YouTube channel.  Do investigate it as the boys and girls’ choirs have done a marvellous job keeping the music going under the most trying of circumstances.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

 

My thanks for the heads-up on this.

I have listened to and thoroughly enjoyed the service which I thought was of a high order of attainment. It reminded me of the glory days of Barry Rose.

And on the basis of one good turn and all that, but nothing to do with Choral Evensong, can I commend the truly excellent Wachet Auf done by the Netherlands Bach Society on YouTube. This a wonderful choral offering, not the Schübler variation.

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