Thursday, September 14, 2006

Evensong at Salisbury

On Wednesday, after Kingston Lacy and Wilton House, I drove into Salisbury just in time for Evensong in my favorite English cathedral. I'm not sure why I have always loved it most - the quality of the light, the beautiful Purbeck columns with the gold banding mimiced on the organ pipes, the luminous blue windows at the east end, the elegance and consistency of the vaulting, the Willis organ..... I have always loved it - and have had some several significant musical and spiritual moments here.

The service was sung by the choristers in the RSCM training course - beautifully and expressively. Howells' "O pray for the peace of Jerusalem" was magical. And, of course, hearing this sublime organ is always a treat - a magical sonority in a grand acoustic.

The Purbeck marble columns - Henry Willis copied these bands on the organ pipes of the case.

The north transept

The south organ case - you can see the gold bands on the pipes

the choristers leave the service

The view thru the Choir

Somewhere, up there in the tower, is a small diamond-shaped pane of glass with my initials incised on it. In 1985, when I first visited the Cathedral, there was an appeal for the restoration of the tower - one could, for a fee, incise something a piece of glass and it would be put in the restored window.


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