Hyperion Records

New College Service
author of text
Book of Common Prayer

'Howells: Choral Music' (CDH55456)
Howells: Choral Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55456  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Canticle 1: Magnificat  My soul doth magnify the Lord
Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace

New College Service
Howells wrote his settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for New College, Oxford, in 1949 immediately after finishing the Gloucester Service which itself followed hard on the heels of Collegium Regale. It is interesting to return to the issue of acoustics here in order to see how very differently Howells knew his music would sound in the comparatively ‘dry’ acoustic of the medieval Oxford chapel compared with the enormously reverberant Gloucester spaces. Howells makes a setting which has much less of the Impressionist flavour of the two earlier settings. It still has its moments of ecstasy—‘He remembering his mercy’ to ‘Abraham and his seed for ever’ is as spine-tingling as anything in the Gloucester and Collegium Regale—but the heart of the matter is the totally different feeling engendered by acoustical properties. Similarly, the kind of mystical treble-voice meditations which begin both the Collegium Regale and Gloucester settings would simply not work as effectively in New College. The result is a ‘new look’ setting which is wonderfully effective in its range and directness.

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2005

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDH55456 track 9
Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis
Recording date
24 June 2004
Recording venue
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Howells: Choral Music (CDA67494)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: June 2005
    Deletion date: April 2011
    Superseded by CDH55456
  2. Howells: Choral Music (CDH55456)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: February 2014
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
   English   Français   Deutsch