St. Paul’s Choir offers a service of Choral Evensong with all-English repertoire by Sir John Goss, Sir George Dyson, Sir William Walton, and Richard Shephard, MBE.
Sung Evening Prayer (Evensong) is similar in structure to Morning Prayer (Matins), but with different canticles and with evening-specific collects. It comprises the following: chanted Preces and responses, a portion of the psalter, two Lessons and two canticles (usually Magnificat and Nunc dimittis), the Apostles’ Creed, chanted prayers and responses (including the Kyrie and Lord’s Prayer) followed by verses and responses and three Collects, an anthem (“In quires and places where they sing, here followeth the anthem,” in the famous phraseology of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer), and additional spoken prayers.
Except for the lessons and concluding prayers, the service is entirely sung, and lasts approximately 50 minutes. St. Paul’s Choir’s monthly Evensong services are at the heart of “traditional worship for a contemporary people,” much loved by our community and one of our most significant cultural offerings to the city.
At the October 9 service, the choir will sing a setting of the Preces and Responses by Richard Shephard (for whom they sang while in residence at York Minster) and Psalm 48 by John Goss of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. The canticles in D Major by Dyson are at the core of the repertoire and dear to choirs everywhere. William Walton enjoyed much success with his music for concerts, stage, and film, as well as making several notable contributions to the choral literature. His Jubilate Deo is a thrilling work, from 1971, for six solo voices, double choir, and organ.