Howells’ St. Paul Service

There are over 50 choristers in the two combined choirs!

There are over 50 choristers in the two combined choirs!

Tonight was the rehearsal for the Joint Evensong with St. Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, and let me tell you, it’s going to be absolutely glorious! The service will be Sunday, April 3rd, at 5:30 pm in the Cathedral with Carl Crosier conducting and John Renke at the Aeolian-Skinner organ.

Carl conducts the two combined choirs.

Carl conducts the two combined choirs.

The service will begin with Carl’s setting of The Queen’s Prayer which he actually worked on while he was on a tour with the Seattle Compline Choir in England, August 2000. Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838-1917) composed this hymn while under house arrest at Iolani Palace, where she was forbidden any reading material except for the prayer book. Naomi Castro will sing the solo on verse 2 and the Amen.

Following a hymn, the choir will sing Anglican chant settings of Psalm 19 and Psalm 46. As Carl says, these are two the Lutherans know! especially the latter which is based on a tune by Martin Luther. Anglican psalms are formulas which the choir sings in four-part harmony. They only have a series of vertical bars to tell them when to change the chord.

But the heart of any Evensong service are the settings of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis — this week it will be the St. Paul Service by Herbert Howells. I was amazed to find out that you can even download ringtones for your cell phone with this music! If you’d like to hear some of these absolutely gorgeous and sublime harmonies, you can click here to hear a performance by the St. John’s College Choir of men and boys.

Teresa McCreary is playing continuo cello.

Teresa McCreary is playing continuo cello.

The LCH and St. Andrew’s Cathedral Choirs will also be singing a motet formerly believed to be composed by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) — the great uncle of Johann Sebastian, but now attributed to J.S. himself. The piece is “Ich lasse dich nicht” and is for double choir and continuo. John Renke will be playing organ, I will be playing harpsichord and Teresa McCreary will be playing cello.

I’ll close the service with Bach’s “Aus tiefer Not,” with four voices on the manuals and two independent voices in the pedal. When I went to practice on the Cathedral organ the other day, I discovered I have to use more weight on the pedal board than I’m used to. Wish me luck!

Hope you can join us for Joint Evensong!

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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