Choral Evensong - 06 May 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.