Choral Evensong – Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Part of my mission over the next year or so is to attend evensong at every Cathedral in England. So far in the past few months I have visited Exeter, Salisbury, Winchester, St Albans, Worcester, Lincoln and Wells. Today was the turn of Oxford and specifically Christ Church which is of course unique in being both a Cathedral and University Chapel.

The service was sung by the College Choir and the Girls’ Choir of Christchurch Priory in Dorset and the music was as follows:

Byrd Responses
Brewer in D
Wesley – Blessed be the God and Father

One of the reasons for attending evensong today was to hear the Wesley not least because I had it sung at my wedding to Elizabeth only 3 weeks ago. Overall it was a very enjoyable service and the the two choirs blended well. If I was to make any criticism it would simply be that the altos could have made more of the d flat in the final Amen of the Byrd responses. But I’m being pedantic mostly just because I rather like that moment! The anthem was sung very well and the soloist was great.

There was one slightly amusing moment when some ignorant tourists decided to leave just at the end of the prayers but then found themselves walking into the choir which was of course trying to process out! They did a very abrupt about turn and looked rather like a rabbit caught in headlights trying to see a way out!

As always I like to stay to hear the final voluntary as I personally consider the organ postlude to be a part of the service. I didn’t recognise the piece played today and it was rather subdued which was a shame. Next week I’m hoping to visit Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire.