Well, hello all once again; I have been away for a very long time and as usual St. Paul's brings me back (must be in my blood...!).
Actually, I have to say that I thought the trebles were ever so fractionally sharp throughout all the Latin works and were only at their truest 'St. Paul's' sound in the second set of responses and the canticles. And the psalms were all one volume with no feminine endings - to my ear.
I don't know why this is - were they trying too hard; too few in number (were there 30+ yesterday?) to match the men's timbre (they weren't singing loudly and I like their sound - sorry!) or just more confident in what they knew 'day in, day out'?
I say that not because any of the service was musically offensive (see the end) but the boys sound, while considerably better than it has been for a while, came across as just a little less 'St. Paul's' / Anglican and as if there were fewer in number giving 101% rather than numbers giving 80% towards a bigger sound...
It is a difficult one this, but to me the choir simply sounded less Anglican of yore and distinctly more 'earnest'...
On which point I do find myself asking this: why a Latin Introit; Latin Hymn and Latin Anthem? While I am the first to acknowledge I am Prayer book to the core, I felt that the BBC would have been better off letting St. Paul's have (again, fair enough) the Feast of the Conversion and hearing them revel in 'their own' music (Howells St. Paul's and a large Vicwardian anthem, say) rather than sing (very well, I hasten to add) music better suited for screened quires and smaller collegiate chapels.
Of course today's CoE has a place for Latin / Roman and especially Reformation music, but I feel the building that is St. Paul's and its superb choir would have been better represented with other music , more of which could have been in English and perhaps more representative of the CoE at large!
Anyhow - I am (probably) very out-of-date / touch and if I have offended anyone, my sincerest apologies - I really thought the singing was very good, but it (the service and half of the music) wasn't to my liking, that's all.
Last word: hats off to the soloist in the Nunc; job well done!
Now I will away for another year!
(Avatar: detail from the Upper ten or Squirrels' Club by Walter Potter; a fine example of eccentric Victorian taxidermy, though the collection is now sadly broken up: