Choral Evensong - 5 February 2016

Recorded on
Friday, 5 February 2016

Ich harre des Herrn is the third movement from Bach's Cantata BWV 131. The Choir performed this Cantata in its entirety on Saturday 20 February accompanied by the College's resident period instrument ensemble, the St John's Sinfonia, led by College Musician-in-Residence, Margaret Faultless. The text of the Cantata is taken from Psalm 130. It is one of Bach's earliest cantatas, written whilst he was in Mühlhausen. It is unclear as to when in the liturgical year the Cantata was initially performed.

Michael Wise was an English organist and composer of the seventeenth century. As a child, he sang as member of the choir of the Chapel Royal and from 1666-68 he sung as a countertenor in the choir of St George's, Windsor before being appointed as organist and choirmaster at Salisbury Cathedral. In 1676, he became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal before becoming Master of the Children at St Paul's Cathedral in the final year of his life. Concerning his death, it is written that, during a violent struggle with a Salisbury night watchman following a domestic dispute, he sustained a blow to the head "which broke his skull, of the consequence whereof he died."

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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

The Choir of St John’s' new album - Magnificat - celebrates their daily tradition of choral Evensong and is released on 25 October 2019.

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer