30 June 2019 - Choral Evensong

Recorded on
Sunday, 30 June 2019

This service includes music by two British  composers writing 500 years apart. 

Robert Fayrfax was born in 1464 in Lincolnshire. He took his Mus.B. at Cambridge in 1501, later advancing to a D.Mus. in 1504, and was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. He died in 1521.

Magnificat Regale is probably Fayrfax’s first work, but it is more stylistically advanced than his Missa Regale, presumably written later. 

Although it is possible that Magnificat Regale was written for the coronation of Henry VIII in 1509, it is also thought to have been composed for King’s College Cambridge, the Latin name of which is Collegium Regale. 

Vertue, composed by Judith Weir in 2005, is the eponymous first of three short chorus settings of poems by George Herbert (1593-1633). Its simple beginning, and progressive division into eight parts, reflects the form of the poem. This clear presentation of the words lends a madrigalesque quality to the work. 

Vertue was written in memory of Peter Lerwill, ‘a dear friend and generous supporter of the Spitalfields Festival.’

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Latest release

October 2019

In their first ever album dedicated solely to the Evening Canticles (Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis), the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge releases Magnificat, a celebration of their daily tradition of Evensong.

Latest news

Andrew Nethsingha discusses the significance of Tippett's St John's Service, a work which demonstrates a fresh, vivid and original take on the Evening Canticles. Read along whilst listening to Tippett's 'Magnificat' from the Choir's forthcoming album, now available on Spotify.

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer