Evensong for Everyone
Join us as the Cathedral Choir presents a service of Choral Evensong celebrating the Feast of Pentecost. The anthem will be an extended work by American composer Leo Nestor. It uses text from the Pentecost sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus as well as an English translation of the 9th century hymn Beata knobs gaudia, which is traditionally sung for the office of Lauds (early morning prayer) on the day of Pentecost. The anthem is a showcase for the organ and choir, and it illuminates the story of the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples with vibrant musical imagery. Tongues of flame and rushing wind find their way in figuration in the organ part, while the choir tells the story in strong declamation.
The Psalm for evensong is 145 set to an Anglican chant by American composer David Hurd, and hymn tunes by Hurd will frame the service.
What is Evensong?
Choral Evensong grew out of the monastic tradition of chanting psalms and praying as a community several times each day. At the time of the creation of the first Anglican Book of Common Prayer, the monastic offices of Vespers and Compline were combined to form Evening Prayer. The convention of singing the service led to the name Evensong (as in Evening Prayer Sung). The service is unique to English cathedrals and collegiate choirs, a tradition that continues to thrive and develop. This contemplative service opens a window into the eternal through the lens of music. A mystical encounter with the sacred finds its voice in the English choral tradition.