CE Truro Cathedral 16.3.11
CE Truro Cathedral
Order of Service:
Introit: Salvator mundi (Tallis)
Office Hymn: O, for a heart to praise my God (Tallis's Ordinal)
Psalms: 82, 83, 84, 85 (Harrison, MacPherson, Parry, Hopkins)
First Lesson: Genesis 11: 1-9
Canticles: The Short Service (Blow)
Second Lesson: Matthew 24:15-21
Anthem: Warum ist das Licht gegeben (Brahms)
Hymn: Take up thy cross (Breslau)
Organ Voluntary: Prelude and Fugue in C minor (Mendelssohn)
Luke Bond (Assistant Director of Music)
Christopher Gray (Director of Music)
Well, that was beautiful.
Light, airy sound, good rich boy singing, musical and expressive, with excellent altos and solid tenors and basses. Balance excellent on air as well.
Salvator Mundi sung slowly, with real depth and attention to phrasing, careful psalms - again, pointing and balance first rate for me.
Standard Blow, but at a good pace and with lots of attention to detail and shape.
Not as sure about the Brahms: exceptionally well sung, given the totally different musical language they suddenly plunged into after what had preceded, but I kept thinking that I wanted all adult voices doing this. Maybe it's just that we've become accustoned to this as adult repertoire, so it came as a sonic surprise? Don't know.
But a really lovely serivce - no fuss, no flim-flam, just quiet top quality musicianship. Must also say a word about the terrific work of the precentor - wouild have given the choir a lot of confidence
I wasn't listening on a great radio, but to my ears, one alto was bit prominent...maybe the miking? The Brahms is quite an undertaking for such a choir. It's trickier than one might suppose, and those chromatic bits are difficult to bring off. It wasn't adult sopranos I missed so much as female altos! (ardcarp ducks for cover). But full marks for a well thought out rendering and a splendid effort.
Intersting difference in tone between Dec and Can in the first psalm (were the others done 'full'?)... a contrast which I liked. Was the adverstised first hymn omitted, or did I doze off?
Precisely so. Truro usually comes up trumps, and today was no exception.
Originally Posted by DracoM
All the psalms were sung antiphonally, ardcarp. I'm sure there was a particularly strong treble leader on Decani, and that he was largely responsible for the contrast in tone. He didn't stand out awkwardly - he just led from the front. I thought the psalmody was excellent - responsive to text, but avoiding opera.
I cannot stomach choral Brahms (mea maxima culpa). Warum is usually too glutinous for my taste. But a mighty fine cathedral choir rescued it for me today. De gustibus non disputandum. Yet one measure of Truro's success is that no member has so far objected to the Discovering-Music-style preamble to the anthem. It was a service that commanded attention and delivered pro rata. Thank you as ever, Truro.
My wife and I travelled down to Truro especially to attend this choral evensong. We also were present during the rehearsal before the service. It was obvious that the original running order was going to be too long for the hour slot so the first hymn and the first psalm were removed. I am looking forward to hearing the recording of the service, as what we heard live in the cathedral was an absolute delight. The Willis organ is a splendid instrument too!
Just LA-ed with computer coupled to decent audio system. A bit like seeing an old master after cleaning up, I heard the service with new ears. One could go a long way to hear psalms sung so well. Diction excellent and lovely changes in pace and mood. The Brahms was quite special (though still think tessitura of alto line wrong for fellers, however good).
We've all come to expect a high standard from Truro; and I always ask myself the same question. How do they do it perched at the tip of Cornwall and as far away from the great metropolis as anywhere?
ardcarp, I always find that humbling.
All the arrogant chatter round London, Oxbridge, the sheer empty business of self-absorption in the capital / Oxbridge axis, then you hear Hereford, Truro, Gloucester, Winchester etc, and you realise that the riches are scattered if we had ears enough. The quiet skill, day in day out of such places as Truro etc must give us pause about what is claimed by radio presenters, critics etc as benchmarks.
Every week, on CE, we get something to us you in our tracks. Today, we just had more of them.
Bit of the last line should have read: "Every week, on CE, we get something to stop us in our tracks."
Is there some correlation between distance from London and musical standards then?
Originally Posted by ardcarp
LOL. Probably not. But nor is there an inverse correlation. Cathedrals in mid-Atlantic and mid-Lancashire - and almost mid-everywhere-else - can deliver music powerfully. No? Why not be grateful for all of it?
Originally Posted by Vile Consort