Sunday, September 21, 2008

Choral Evensong

One of my favourite programmes on BBC Radio3 is the Sunday afternoon broadcast of Choral Evensong relayed from some Cathedral and sometimes University chapel like King's at Cambridge or Christ's at Oxford.
"And what is a Buddhist doing listening avidly to a Christian Church service?" you may ask.
When I was about nine years old, nearly sixty years back, I was a chorister at the local church in Sunderland. It was through this I developed a love of sacred music. I remained a chorister until well into my teenage years by which time this particular treble (or boy soprano as those across the Pond call it) had transmogrified into a bass. I just love the settingsof the Responses and Canticles along with the Psalms. As it happens, this musical tradition has been taken up somewhat by the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives so even at Throssel it is a home-from-home in this respect. It may be some time I guess, before the John Stainers, George Stanfords, Olivier Messians, or J.S.Bachs of Buddhism begin to emerge.

Sometimes the BBC broadcasts from Lancaster's Priory Church shown here. It stands on Castle Hill behind the Castle itself. They weren't broadcasting from there today but I thought it would be nice to go along for a live Evensong for a change. I wasn't disappointed. The settings by Orlando Gibbons were used and the Anthem was a piece by Palaestrina. The exeunt voluntary on the organ was J.S.Bach's Wachet Auf.


What better way to end a Sunday spent in the Studio?

4 comments:

CrazyCath said...

For you, there is no better way. I know your love of music, but I still think you have a memory of a belief from that time that you hold on to...

As long as you enjoyed it, that's what counts.

Norman said...

Crikey Cath. YOU don't waste time! I'd only just posted two seconds ago.
You're probably right in your surmise. And yup! I enjoyed it.

CrazyCath said...

It's this new blog roll thingumajig. Tells me when you posted. So if I happen to be online when you post (and refresh page on blog of course....)

CrazyCath said...

(Doesn't tell me when you respond to comments though. Sadly.)