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Guest Roffensis

Choral Evensong

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Guest Andrew Butler
Incorrect singing technique has also given us the dreadful 'Klyst' for 'Christ' and many other similar infelicities.  Regrettably, few modern choirmaters have had singing lessons.  Until the late 1950s most choirmasters knew exactly how to sing and thus trained the boys correctly.

 

Barry Williams

 

My italics in quote - I doubt if such people are interested in singing! :)

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Guest Barry Williams
Indeed.

 

Alternatively, one could sing with the whole bowl of fruit in one's mouth....

 

:)

 

 

For this Wednesday (25th October) the Choral Evensong on Radio 3 at 4pm is billed as an archive performance from the 1950s from Kings.

 

Barry Williams

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For this Wednesday (25th October) the Choral Evensong on Radio 3 at 4pm is billed as an archive performance from the 1950s from Kings.

 

I have a cd of a nine lessons and carols from the same era. It’s lovely to hear the choir from that time but the sound quality is very, very poor. I hope the BBC recording is of better quality else I’ll not get much further than “O Lord open thou our lips”.

 

:)

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Guest delvin146
For this Wednesday (25th October) the Choral Evensong on Radio 3 at 4pm is billed as an archive performance from the 1950s from Kings.

 

Barry Williams

 

Marvellous :) , it'll be divine. Were they still doing gathering chords then?

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Marvellous  :) , it'll be divine. Were they still doing gathering chords then?

 

I’ve no doubt that it will be superbly sung with fantastic diction and lovely vowel sounds. I just hope the recording quality does them justice.

 

:)

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Guest Roffensis
I’ve no doubt that it will be superbly sung with fantastic diction and lovely vowel sounds.  I just hope the recording quality does them justice.

 

:)

 

Well it's in mono, if that's any help to you (The CD certainly is). All the broadcasts were, until the 80s if I recall. The Hadley wasn't too hot at one point, but all in all well worth hearing.......

R

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For this Wednesday (25th October) the Choral Evensong on Radio 3 at 4pm is billed as an archive performance from the 1950s from Kings.

 

Barry Williams

And very good indeed it was too. Boys very bright-toned - more so than Willcock's, I fancy. Extremely vital psalm singing too, treading the dangerous path between speed and gabbling very nicely - though tendency to leave the choir dangling in mid air on a pause before the last two or three chords was a shame. (And that wonderful set of chants too.) The Hadley - well, can anyone ever make that piece of wayward turgidity sound nice? A very fine choir indeed - though I don't think you could honestly claim that it is better than anything we have today.

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And very good indeed it was too. Boys very bright-toned - more so than Willcock's, I fancy. Extremely vital psalm singing too, treading the dangerous path between speed and gabbling very nicely - though tendency to leave the choir dangling in mid air on a pause before the last two or three chords was a shame. (And that wonderful set of chants too.) The Hadley - well, can anyone ever make that piece of wayward turgidity sound nice? A very fine choir indeed - though I don't think you could honestly claim that it is better than anything we have today.

 

Well, to be fair, I only heard part of the responses and both canticles, but I am afraid that I did not like it!

 

The Stanford Magnificat was slower that I have ever heard it, there was no sense of 'warming' the long treble solo notes (or at least giving a sense of linear direction); there was at least one really awkward moment where (due to the slow pace) the treble soloist was quite literally gasping for breath. Neither was there any heightened sense of climax at the appropriate places. Whilst this is not a particularly loud setting, nevertheless, there are moments when I wanted the choir (especially the trebles) to give a little more. It was all just too refined - that is, apart from the parts where they lurched from one verse to another in the Psalms. Sorry, VH, but I thought that they were gabbled at times.

 

I doubt that there is any point in mentioning the diction since, at that time, presumably most people spoke in such a mannered way - unless one happened to live on a farm in deepest Devon....

 

However, the thing which I found most difficult to take was that the treble soloist sounded as if he was either trying to impersonate Dame Vera Lynn - or that he had been recorded underwater. To be quite honest, if our trebles sang like that, they would be - (underwater).

 

I have no wish to sully the pleasure of others who may have enjoyed this'golden hour'; however, I will happily keep my preference for John's (Robinson), Winchester (Hill) or even Westminster (Malcolm) - that is about as golden as I wish to get!

 

:P

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However, the thing which I found most difficult to take was that the treble soloist sounded as if he was either trying to impersonate Dame Vera Lynn - or that he had been recorded underwater.

I wonder whether some of the blame should not be directed at the sound engineers. The technical side seems generally much more consistent these days (though I'm not an avid listener to CE), but back then the recording quality was much more hit and miss depending on how the microphones were placed. I thought the organ in the voluntary sounded most unlike King's - too closely miked perhaps?

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I wonder whether some of the blame should not be directed at the sound engineers. The technical side seems generally much more consistent these days (though I'm not an avid listener to CE), but back then the recording quality was much more hit and miss depending on how the microphones were placed. I thought the organ in the voluntary sounded most unlike King's - too closely miked perhaps?

 

This is a most interesting point, VH.

 

I noticed, too, that the resonance was appreciably less than is actually the case - the building sounded acoustically dry.

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Guest Roffensis
This is a most interesting point, VH.

 

I noticed, too, that the resonance was appreciably less than is actually the case - the building sounded acoustically dry.

 

 

There's a lot of hiss on the CD......

 

Kings does also now have less reverb, as they have those plush seats in the nave that like to soak up sound. :P

 

R

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There's a lot of hiss on the CD......

 

Kings does also now have less reverb, as they have those plush seats in the nave that like to soak up sound.  ;)

 

R

 

I suppose that the chapel authorities could try to persuade the congregation to attend services au naturel. This way, at least their clothing would not soak up natural resonance. On second thoughts....

 

:lol:

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Here's a very good quote from Dr Higginbottom:

 

"People sometimes claim there's a New College 'sound', but that's definitely not something I strive for. I'm not fond of the notion of 'blend'. Rather, I want everybody in the choir, boys included, to be able to sing as a soloist. I don't try to impose a sound from the outside, to make them conform. Each voice has its own particular timbre, a unique ingredient that gives it its strength and character."

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I just thought all of you may be interested in how things are done elsewhere. Here is a webcast of the First Evensong of Christmas and Blessing of the Creché from the Cathedral Church of St. James of the Diocese of Toronto.

 

I must warn you though that the audio recording was not done very well but here is what you can do to make it sound like what it does in real life:

  1. turn up the volume on your media player, your computer, and your speaker or headphones
  2. if you have such settings on your player or sound card, change the equalizer to "Live" or "Vocal"
  3. if such setting exist for your sound card, change the listening environment to "Concert Hall"

Choir: Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, augmented by members of the Girls' Choir for this service.

DOM: Michael Bloss

Organist: Andrew Ager (except for the final hymn and voluntary: Michael Bloss)

Officiant: The Vicar, The Rev'd Canon David Brinton

Preacher: The Bishop of Toronto, The Rt. Rev'd Colin Johnson

Intercessor: Assistant Priest, The Rev'd Lisa Wang

 

First Evensong of Christmas

http://events.onlinebroadcasting.com/angli...22406/index.php

 

If you would like more information on the cathedral, the choir or the organ, you can go to the cathedral website.

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I just thought all of you may be interested in how things are done elsewhere. Here is a webcast of the First Evensong of Christmas and Blessing of the Creché from the Cathedral Church of St. James of the Diocese of Toronto.

 

I must warn you though that the audio recording was not done very well but here is what you can do to make it sound like what it does in real life:

  1. turn up the volume on your media player, your computer, and your speaker or headphones
  2. if you have such settings on your player or sound card, change the equalizer to "Live" or "Vocal"
  3. if such setting exist for your sound card, change the listening environment to "Concert Hall"

Choir: Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, augmented by members of the Girls' Choir for this service.

DOM: Michael Bloss

Organist: Andrew Ager (except for the final hymn and voluntary: Michael Bloss)

Officiant: The Vicar, The Rev'd Canon David Brinton

Preacher: The Bishop of Toronto, The Rt. Rev'd Colin Johnson

Intercessor: Assistant Priest, The Rev'd Lisa Wang

 

First Evensong of Christmas

http://events.onlinebroadcasting.com/angli...22406/index.php

 

If you would like more information on the cathedral, the choir or the organ, you can go to the cathedral website.

Interesting webcast.

 

Many thanks ecnice

 

A

 

(Scotland - 1.05am and the bagpipes are now silent!!)

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