Choral Evensong - 29 January 2017

Recorded on
Sunday, 29 January 2017

This week's webcast of Choral Evensong features a strong link to York, with Edward Bairstow's Lord, thou hast been our refuge, Francis Jackson's Evening Service in G, and Richard Shephard's setting of the Preces and Responses.

Sir Edward Bairstow (1874 - 1946) held the post of Musical Director in London, Wigan and Leeds before being appointed Master of Music at York Minster in 1913, a post which he held until death. Bairstow wrote a total of twenty-nine anthems, from miniatures such as I sat down under his shadow to large-scale works for choir and organ such as Blessed city, heavenly Salem, and Lord, thou hast been our refuge. Bairstow was knighted in 1932 for his services to music.

When Bairstow passed in 1946, he was succeeded by one of his former pupils, Francis Jackson CBE (b. 1917) who held the post until his retirement in 1982. Jackson played for the wedding of Elizabeth II's cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, to Katherine Worsley on 8 June 1961. The final voluntary was the final movement of Charles-Marie Widor's Symphony No. 5 for organ: Toccata, which set a fashion for the use of this piece for weddings.

Richard Shephard MBE, DL, FRSCM (b. 1949) is a composer, former educator, and Director of Development and Chamberlain of York Minster. He has written operas, operettas, musicals, chamber music, and large-scale orchestral works, but he is perhaps best-known for his choral compositions; his setting of the Preces and Responses being a mainstay of Anglican church choirs across the world.

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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