Last week, Eton College Chapel Choir and St George’s Chapel Choir came together to put on their annual evensong at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The magnificent venue was the perfect backdrop for the performance, with the two choirs blending together seamlessly to create a truly extraordinary sound.
The service began with the gentle Adagio from Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 1 for organ. Following this, the choir performed a selection of spectacular choral works. Starting with the first set of Rose Responses, they then sang Stanford’s Canticles in C, under the guidance of James Vivian, Director of Music at St George’s Chapel. For many, however, the highlight of the service was the rousing anthem, Elgar’s Give Unto The Lord. Here the extraordinary power of the combined choirs was shown to full effect.
Complemented by a stunning organ accompaniment, the St George’s professional lay clerks, CCC tenors and basses supported the mix of young St George’s choristers and Eton’s own trebles and altos to produce a vast range of sounds, making for a powerful and moving performance.
The service concluded with a fantastic organ voluntary, Howell’s Paean, played by Eton’s Senior Organ Scholar. Bringing out a vast range of sounds on the breath-taking organ in St George’s Chapel, the final chords shook the walls of the chapel, closing in spectacular fashion.
Thanks, must of course go to many individuals for their hard work behind the scenes. Mr Johnson, Precentor at Eton College, Mr Vivian and Mr Allsop, College Organist at Eton, all played a significant role in ensuring that the service was a resounding success. Acknowledgements must also go to all the singers involved, to the accompanying staff from Eton College and staff from St George’s Chapel and to all the audience members who came to listen. We hope to welcome St George’s Choir back to Eton College next year for another evening of fabulous music-making.