Music through the ages

The December 2000 music list demonstrates once again that Advent and Christmas provides the opportunity to explore music from all ages of the last millennium, from early Plainsong to carols by contemporary composers such as Ian Schofield, who composed a setting of the Cantate Domino for us last year.

From darkness into light

The beginning of Advent was commemorated on 3 December with a special order of service incorporating plainsong, anthems and carols – some well known, others less so – sung from all corners of the Abbey. Laden with symbolism, it proved to be a powerful experience.

Early music at Evensong

One other service, at 6.30pm on 17 December, was also worthy of note. The Gentlemen Choristers sang the Canticles to the First Service by John Shepherd, a predecessor of Byrd and Tallis. This setting is unaccompanied and divides into eight parts for certain passages. Paired with an anthem by Weelkes, it was be a treat for lovers of Renaissance polyphony.

Nine Lessons and Carols and Midnight Eucharist

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols took place on Wednesday 20 December and was much enjoyed by Choir and congregation alike. Particular congratulations go to the boys who took solos for the first time.