Howells is perhaps the quintessential Anglican Church music composer, having composed some twenty-odd settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.
Interestingly, he wrote only one set of Preces and Responses. And I've never heard them sung.
Howells Preces and Responses were written in 1967, the same year he wrote Evening Services for Winchester, Chichester and St. Augustine, Birmingham.
They are included on the evensong webcast from St. John's College, Cambridge this week.
From the St. John's Choir, Decani Bass III writes:
Although we vary the canticles and anthem every day, there are, I suppose, about 6 or 7 settings of the Preces and Responses that get used in rotation. It is therefore always pretty refreshing to sing a new setting, and I had long wanted to sing this setting by Herbert Howells. We sing so much of his music and it had always seemed an omission that we had not tackled them before. Howells integrates the cantoring with the choral parts and they seem more organic and cohesive than many of the more conventional sets.
Check it out, especially that concluding Amen.
Labels: church music, Howells, St John's (Cambridge)
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