Choral Evensong - 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.