What we will sing at Westminster Abbey

In the choir stalls at Westminster Abbey

We have the first of our two rehearsals for Westminster Abbey this weekend. Because some of our members come from a distance, and to maximise the time we have together, we tend to have just two rehearsals prior to a ‘gig’, either half-days or whole days. Everyone comes having already looked at the music (if it’s new) so Nick can spend the majority of the time working on interpretation, phrasing, blending and that sort of thing, rather than learning notes. It makes for a really fun and satisfying day.

If you’re in London at the end of August, do come along to one of the services we are singing. Westminster Abbey is a magical place to sing in, and to experience an Evensong even if (dare I say it) you’re not especially a church-goer. Here’s what we will be singing:

Friday 30th August, 5pm: Evensong

  • Introit: Farrant: Lord for thy tender mercies sake
  • Responses: Houghton
  • Psalm 147
  • Magnificat and Nunc dimittis: Farrant in E minor
  • Anthem: Lotti: Crucifixus

Saturday 31st August, 5pm:  Evensong

  • Introit: Farrant: Lord for thy tender mercies sake
  • Responses: Houghton
  • Psalms 149 & 150
  • Magnificat and Nunc dimittis: Andrew Carter: Wakefield Service
  • Anthem: Purcell: I was glad

Sunday 1st September, 10am: Mattins

  • Introit: Farrant: Lord for thy tender mercies sake
  • Responses: Houghton
  • Venite
  • Psalm 119: vv161-end
  • Te Deum: Stanford: Te Deum in C. Op.115
  • Jubilate: Britten: O be joyful

11.15am: Eucharist (Common Worship)

  • Gloria: Berkeley: Missa Brevis
  • Gradual psalm 112
  • Plainsong Alleluia
  • Sanctus (and Benedictus tbd by Abbey): Berkeley: Missa Brevis
  • Agnus Dei: Berkeley: Missa Brevis
  • Communion Motet: Messiaen: O Sacrum Convivium

3pm: Evensong

  • Introit: Farrant: Lord for thy tender mercies sake
  • Responses: Houghton
  • Psalm 119 vv81-96
  • Magnificat and Nunc dimittis: Sumsion in G
  • Anthem: Brahms: Geistliches lied

It’s Westminster Abbey’s rule that we sing the same Introit for each Evensong and Mattins – actually this worked very well last time we were there when we sang Purcell’s Remember not Lord our offences – by Sunday Evensong we had it down very polished!

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