Choral Evensong - 06 May 2017

Recorded on
Tuesday, 22 August 2017

On the Feast of Port Latin, the choir gives a full performance of Vaughan-Williams' Five Mystical Songs, which sets text by poet George Herbert, as the anthem for this webcast of Choral Evensong.

Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872 – 1958) wrote Five Mystical Songs between 1906 and 1911. The work sets four poems ("Easter" divided into two parts) by seventeenth-century Welsh-born English poet and Anglican priest George Herbert (1593–1633), from his 1633 collection The Temple: Sacred Poems. While Herbert was a priest, Vaughan Williams himself was an atheist at the time (he later settled into a "cheerful agnosticism"), though this did not prevent his setting of verse of an overtly religious inspiration. The work received its first performance on 14 September 1911, at the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester, with Vaughan Williams conducting.

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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 choral Evensong.

Latest news

It is with sadness that we announce that the Master of St John's College, Professor Sir Christopher Dobson, died on Sunday 8 September.

He is survived by his wife, Dr Mary Dobson, their sons, Richard and William, and his beloved dog, Jimbo. He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and died at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey. A full tribute to Sir Christopher can be viewed on the College website.

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer