The Choir was disappointed at the power cut in College which disrupted the BBC's broadcast of Choral Evensong last week. But the best has been made out of a bad situation.
The remarkably bad timing of the power cut struck a particularly sore note since the service was the debut broadcast performance for the College's new period instrument St John's Sinfonia, led by renowned violinist Maggie Faultless, which performs with the Choir in concerts, recordings (newly released Mozart and recently recorded Purcell) and in the Choir's termly 'Cantata Evensongs'.
These services attempt to place Bach's cantatas back in a liturgical context, albeit a different one to that which they were written for, and have developed quite a cult following in Cambridge – recent services have seen large numbers standing throughout the service at the back of the Ante-Chapel. Impressively, they also involve current members of the Choir taking on the solo arias and recitatives, famously challenging in the musical intricacies and technical obstacles they provide even the most experienced singers.
The first part of the service, which was recorded both by the BBC and by our own microphones in Chapel, is now available on the Choir's latest on-line resource, SJC Live, including Vivaldi's Magnificat, a plainsong Nunc Dimittis and a beautiful set of Psalms (12, 13 and 14).
Signing up to SJC Live is free and simply requires a vaild email address and a pair of speakers. SJC Live is an ever-growing collection of over 200 tracks from services over the past few years, live recordings split up into Psalms, anthems, Canticles, responses and Mass settings.
The next Cantata Evensong will be on Saturday 20 October at 6.30pm. The Magnificat will be a setting by Dietrich Buxtehude and Bach's Cantata no 48 Ich elender Mensch will be sung as the anthem.