What music might you hear in the Cathedral services?

Did you know that every month Bristol Cathedral puts online a music list that tells worshippers, and visitors what music will be performed and by whom, at every service in the coming month? You might be familiar with the ‘What’s On’ page, which lists concerts, recitals, exhibitions, and special events, but the services music list is a valuable addition and can give people an extra set of information about the music they might be able to hear within the regular services at the cathedral. Everyone is always welcome to attend a service, whether a regular worshipper or not, and from any faith, or none. If someone is thinking of attending, say, a weekday Evensong, and loves the music of Vaughan Williams, but isn’t so wild about Haydn, they could discover from the music list which services might appeal to them especially. That hypothetical visitor, with their interest in Vaughan Williams might find next Tuesday, May 23rd, a good time to visit: the choir will be singing Vaughan Williams’ anthem ‘Valiant-For-Truth’, with its text taken from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, written in 1678 (sung in the video by Westminster Abbey Choir on the occasion of the memorial service for Sir Laurence Olivier in 1989). Equally, those who might have attended a service, and heard a piece that made an impression on them, but they had not remembered what it was, can look it up afterwards. The music list also shows when the services might be sung just by Lay Clerks, the adult men and women only, altos, tenors and basses. (Lay Clerks normally sing alone – that is, without the boy or girl trebles, the high voices – on Friday evenings.) Or if someone wanted to hear what a service sounds like when it is sung just by the boy choristers, that often happens on a Wednesday, with music that is appropriate for treble voices only. There is now an archive of music lists available on the Cathedral website going back to the beginning of 2015, and we hope that we might be able to add more as part of this project. Take a look, see whether there is anything there that piques your interest, and come and listen!


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University of Bristol / Brigstow Institute / Bristol Cathedral

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