Choral Evensong - 11 October 2015
Lennox Berkeley (1903-89) was an English composer. In 1927, he moved to Paris to continue his musical studies where he was taught by Nadia Boulanger. He also became acquainted with notable musical figures such as Francis Poulenc, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger and Albert Roussel. Maurice Ravel, often cited as a key influence on Berkeley's compositional output, also taught him whilst he was in Paris.
Later, Berkeley became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and his pupils incldue Richard Rodney Bennett, Sir John Tavener and David Bedford.
Berkeley's earlier music is broadly tonal and influenced by the neoclassical music of Stravinsky. Berkeley, though initially against atonal music, began to incorporate tone rows and other serial techniques into some of his music during the mid-1950s, feeling a need to broaden his idiom.
Berkeley composed works in a variety of genres, both vocal and instrumental.
'The Lord is my Shepherd' was composed in 1975 for the 900th anniversary of the Foundation of Chichester Cathedral. The work is dedicated to the Very Reverend Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester who had previously commissioned other notable works of English choral music, namely Britten's 'Rejoice in the Lamb', Finzi's 'Lo, the full final sacrifice' and Bernstein's 'Chichester Psalms'.