This week's webcast of Choral Evensong features Herbert Howells' iconic Collegium Regale setting of the evening canticles, and John Taverner's Dum transisset Sabbatum.
Herbert Howells (1892 - 1983) started his Collegium Regale with a setting of the Te Deum in 1944, which laid down a template in sound which proved irresistible to Cathedral organists across the country seeking to commission him. His evening canticles follow Howells’s stated feelings to the letter: ‘… if I made a setting of the Magnificat, the mighty should be put down from their seat without a brute force which would deny this canticle’s feminine association. Equally, that in the Nunc dimittis, the tenor’s domination should characterize the gentle Simeon. Only the Gloria should raise its voice.' Of all the pieces in the Anglican choral repertoire, especially from the twentieth century, Howells' Collegium Regale is arguably the most recognisable.