Symphonic Evensong to raise the Cathedral’s roof

Symphonic Evensong to raise the Cathedral’s roof

26th September 2016

The combined forces of a full orchestra and two of the city’s finest choirs will provide the music for a special service of Choral Evensong in Exeter Cathedral in October 2016.

The Cathedral Choir and the University of Exeter Chapel Choir will be joined by musicians from the Exeter Symphony Orchestra for a special service at 16.00 on Saturday 8th October.

It will be the first time in recent memory that Choral Evensong in Exeter Cathedral will be accompanied by a full symphony orchestra and the service promises to be a glorious opportunity to celebrate the partnership between the musicians at the start of another academic year.

Timothy Noon is Exeter Cathedral’s Director of Music and has day-to-day responsibility for training the boys, girls and adults of the choir as well as overseeing all other aspects of music making. He said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate not only with one of Exeter’s finest choirs, but with a full symphony orchestra – not often heard in the context of Choral Evensong!”

The University of Exeter’s Chapel Choir sings regularly at the Cathedral’s “Holy Ground” gathering and regularly performs at concerts and other events, in addition to its duties at the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel. Michael Graham was appointed Director of Chapel Music in 2013. He said:

“It has been an exciting three years working with the choir and seeing them go from strength to strength in such a short time, and this is in no small way due to our collaboration with Exeter Cathedral. We are grateful to Timothy, the Cathedral Choir and to Exeter Symphony Orchestra for joining us in this endeavour to celebrate our partnership and give a liturgical performance of some of the most dramatic choral music written for the church”.

Brian Northcott is the Musical Director of the Exeter Symphony Orchestra and knows the Cathedral well, both as conductor for the orchestra since 2005 and a past member of the Cathedral Choir. He said:

“When Michael and Timothy recently asked if the orchestra would be prepared to play the fine accompaniments so rarely heard in their orchestral versions, we were only too pleased to be asked. The orchestra can’t wait to be back in their favourite venue, and enjoying a third Cathedral event this season. 

Music for the service on 8th October includes “How lovely is thy dwelling place” from Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem”, Parry’s Coronation (and Royal Wedding) anthem “I was glad” and Charles Villiers Stanford’s evening canticles in A major. The Evensong begins at 16.00 and all are warmly welcome to attend.

The Exeter Symphony Orchestra will also return to the Cathedral with a concert of 'The Somme Music’ by local composer Laura Rossi (to continue the centenary commemorations of 1914-1918) in February 2017, and with the international cellist Raphael Wallfisch in July 2017. 

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