On Tuesday 4 August, Romsey Abbey Choir sang Choral Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral. A number of friends from the Abbey attended the service.
The Choir sang the canticles to Herbert Murrill’s dramatic Evening Service in E. The Magnificat included several strongly contrasted sections, including staccato organ chords as the choir sang ‘He hath showed strength with his arm’, a gentle unaccompanied section at ‘He remembering his mercy’ and, in the Nunc Dimittis , a crescendo towards the words ‘And to be the glory of thy people Israel ‘ before a spirited Gloria heralded by a trumpet-like fanfare.
The anthem was Ralph Vaughan Williams’ O how amiable are Thy dwellings, composed in 1934 for the Pageant of Abinger. It began with a verse for the boys answered by the lower voices before becoming more agitated and concluding with an affirmatory verse of the hymn O God, our help in ages past .
Robert Fielding, Organist and Master of the Choristers, noted afterwards, ‘We have sung in Cathedrals all around the country in recent years – Durham, Norwich, Exeter – yet this is the first time in a good many years that the choir has sung in Salisbury. We very much enjoyed the experience.’
The choir begins its new term at the Abbey on 6 September and, later in the Autumn, it is looking forward to welcoming Sherborne Abbey Choir for a joint Choral Evensong.
The choir practises in Salisbury Cathedral