Hyperion Records

St Paul's Service
The St Paul’s Service is one of Howells’ most celebrated settings of texts that he returned to time and again. Fashioned specially for a building with a spectacular acoustic, consequently employing a less rapidly changing harmonic rhythm than would be possible in a less resonant building, this is a work in which Howells seems at his most confident and optimistic. It is the biggest boned, the most expansive of all his treatments and justifies its reputation as one of the best of his settings for the Anglican liturgy. The Magnificat sets off sturdily, without introduction, and never looks back, surging forward with just an easing of the pace at the beautiful ‘He remembering His mercy’. The Nunc dimittis, though quiet, is also expansive, building slowly and majestically to its climax. The Glorias in both canticles sweep all before them and make a big feature out of Howells’ characteristic use of the ‘Lydian’ fourth, stretching the tonality before pulling it back to the tonic to almost cataclysmic effect.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2012

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66260 track 9
Nunc dimittis
Recording date
10 June 1987
Recording venue
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Howells: St Paul's Service & other works (CDA66260)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: April 1988
    Deletion date: October 1998
    Archive Service
  2. The Music of St Paul's Cathedral (SPCC2000)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: July 2000
    Super-budget price sampler
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