The Cathedral Chamber Choir sang at Wells Cathedral for the weekend of Trinity Sunday. Well, sort of, as on the Sunday afternoon we made way for a ‘prayer fayre’ in the Cathedral and decamped to St Cuthbert’s Church, together with a number of the Cathedral clergy (several others chose to be away altogether that weekend) and its congregation. We didn’t actually spend all that much time in Wells Cathedral itself, as we had only a short rehearsal there on Saturday and a very short one on the Sunday morning, apart from the services.
Wells proved a popular location despite the shortage of nearby accommodation, and we fielded a large choir. The main novelty to me in the music was Matthew Martin’s Responses, in a Vaughan Williams sort of style but with fashionable note clusters. Saturday was baroque day with Purcell in G minor canticles and Bach’s ‘Wer mich liebet’ (from the cantata BWV 74) which was new to just about all of us.
For the Sunday Eucharist we sang Byrd’s 4 part mass (I sang this a few weeks earlier for a funeral, and sang the Sanctus from it again the following week) and his Confirma hoc, Deus. Matins was Britten in C canticles and to keep rehearsal time simple Tallis’ If ye love me.
In St Cuthbert’s (where I sang Spem in Alium earlier in the year), we had a bit of a wallow with Wood in D and Beati quorum via by Stanford.
It was a rather poignant weekend for me as it was the last time I’d be singing for Matthew O’Donovan who is standing down as Musical Director of the choir in the summer. I’ve greatly enjoyed singing for him, including some of the best choir warm-ups around, and his great fairness in dealing with the singers in his choir (something which is very rare in my experience).