Friday, August 12, 2011

What Exactly is an Evensong?

God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

That music in itself, whose sounds are song,
The poetry of speech.
~Lord Byron

Music is a funny thing. Having read so much poetry lately, my definition seems to encompass a much wider variety of contexts these days. As per the title of my blog, I recently discovered the wonders of the Anglican choral Evensong (evening prayer). Though very different from my normal form of worship, listening to Evensong in King's Cathedral and Great Saint Mary's is truly an ethereal  experience. The tremendous acoustics and incredible architecture create an indescribable aura. The world renowned King's Choir, which consists of both men's and boy's voices, gave their last performances before leaving on tour the week that we arrived in Cambridge. Tremendously talented, they are particularly known for their rendition of Handel's "Messiah". 

Listen especially for the VERY high register of the young boys. Incredible, huh?

It might be a stretch to refer to my musings as my own evensong, but I am just liberally interpreting Byron's use of poetry as song :)

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