In Sacred Spaces
Choral Evensong (Lichfield Cathedral)
Saturday 4 February 2017 at 5:30pm
  Date:  Saturday 4 February 2017
  Time: 5.20pm
  Venue:  Lichfield Cathedral, The Close, Lichfield  WS13 7LD
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Our regular programme of visiting Sacred Spaces near and far continues, following visits to Coventry and St Paul's Cathedrals in 2015, with visits to Lichfield and Ely Cathedrals in 2017.

In keeping with the church calendar, the Psalm appointed for the evening at Lichfield is 23, The Lord is my Shepherd, and the choir are delighted to return to familiar music in the setting of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in Bb major by Henry Thomas Smart (1813-79) which starts with a lively brassy fanfare on the organ, and continues in festive style. They are also reprising Samuel Wesley's (1766-1837) motet Exultate Deo, which they most recently performed in October 2015 at St Paul's Cathedral. The text of the anthem is the first two verses of Psalm 81, and it is beyond any shadow of a doubt his masterpiece. Scored for five-part chorus with organ, its two motives are treated to much contrapuntal ingenuity while the vocal scoring is of such brilliance that Arthur Wills described it as "rivalling Bach himself". The Responses are sung to a new setting by Louis Le Vuyand, and are ideal for choirs such as ours, who only sing Choral Evensong infrequently.

Sing we merrily unto God our strength, make a cheerful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take the psalm, bring hither the tabret; the merry harp with the lute!


Northampton Bach Choir

Organist: Ivan Linford
Conductor: Lee Dunleavy

Le Vuyand Preces and Responses
Smart Evening Service in Bb
Wesley Exultate Deo