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Evening Service in D major 'Great Service'

1881; written for Trinity College Cambridge and Stanford; first performed on 19 February 1992 by St Paul's Cathedral choir, Stainer conducting
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55; Luke 2: 29-32

Parry wrote his Evening Service in D major (the ‘Great Service’) in early 1881. Though promised to Charles Villiers Stanford and Trinity College, Cambridge, it was first sung at St Paul’s on 19 February and 2 July 1882 under Stainer. It was finally sung at Trinity College in December 1882 but was never sung again thereafter, perhaps because its ungainly manuscript parts rendered it outmoded in the days of Novello’s more practical octavo vocal scores. It remained unpublished until it was posthumously exhumed and published in a limited private edition by Parry’s amanuensis, Emily Daymond, for St Paul’s Cathedral’s patronal festival in January 1925 with an orchestration by Charles Macpherson. The service was eventually published in an edition by Jeremy Dibble in 1984. Although not as symphonic in concept as Stanford’s Opp 10 and 12 (published in 1879 and 1880 respectively), Parry’s service is nevertheless typically generous in its architecture and grand effect. In part indebted to the large-scale verse anthems of S S Wesley, especially in the sections for solo voices, the work evinces a bold handling of diatonic harmony which would be key to his later choral style.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble 2015


Parry: I was glad & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68089Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Parry: Sacred Choral Music
Hyperion monthly sampler - September 2015
FREE DOWNLOADHYP201509Download-only monthly sampler


Canticle 1: Magnificat  My soul doth magnify the Lord
Track 5 on CDA68089 [8'16]
Track 2 on CDA66273 [8'30]
Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace
Track 6 on CDA68089 [4'09]
Track 3 on CDA66273 [3'42]
Track 4 on HYP201509 [4'09] Download-only monthly sampler

Track-specific metadata for CDA66273 track 2

Recording date
18 July 1987
Recording venue
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
  1. Parry: Sacred Choral Music (CDA66273)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: July 1988
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