- December 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm #584519
E. Wayne AbercrombieParticipant
I am looking for repertoire suggestions for choral evensong services (Episcopal/Anglican), for an experienced ensemble of c. 12-16 singers. Settings of the canticles and suggestions for suitable anthems, accompanied and unaccompanied, are welcomed.
Particularly interesting would be to connect both service music and anthems by period in a given service.
Thanks for any suggestions.January 1, 2019 at 8:25 am #585069
Once you have got started, you will quickly find there is more evensong music than you have occasions to sing it in the services. At the outset, the tricky bits aren’t the showcase pieces, but the psalms and responses. It takes a few repetitions before your choir is automatically ready with hymn, responses and psalm near the start, find the canticles during the Bible readings, have the responses ready straight after the creed and only then move on to the anthem.
While in that learning phase, it pays to err on the side of familiar and easy. The RSCM publishes Ferial Responses, helpfully printed with the liturgical cues. Importantly, they will let your minister gain confidence singing. Sets by William Smith, Richard Ayleward and John Sanders will fit alongside most repertoire.
For psalms don’t be caught out by ‘Glory be to the Father’ at the end. It probably is not printed with each psalm. For a variety of periods, you could use the chant adapted from Ein Feste Burg, Turle’s chant after Purcell, Stainer’s one borrowed from the Sonata Pathetique, Attwood’s unison phrases with harmonised answers, Flintoft’s chant in F Minor. These are all in the RSCM chant book, with two hundred others. With that and a pointed psalter you will be set for years. There are some suggestions in this thread: https://www.choralnet.org/forums/topic/teaching-anglican-chant-from-scratch/#post-577540
For canticles, most choirs begin with Stanford in B flat. Ireland in F is also low-risk, high-reward. Not much harder are Walmisley in D Minor, Sumsion in G (the SATB setting, there are two others), Purcell in G Minor, Tallis in the Dorian mode. All of these also wrote famous anthems that would match the style.
It won’t be long before your choir is comfortable tackling favourites by Howells, Byrd, Gibbons, Dyson, Bairstow, Victoria or even Rachmaninov. You may need to arrange weekly or even daily evensongs to make space for it all.
Best wishes and Happy New Year,
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