A Little Evening Music (A Preview of Sunday’s Evensong)

Balfour Gardiner’s (1877-1950) setting of this grand hymn for the evening rite is our anthem at Choral Evensong this Sunday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 p.m. This fifth/sixth century text is actually appointed for the Office of Compline and asks God for protection and favor “from fears and terrors of the night.” Following a slow, controlled crescendo of organ introduction, the choir blossoms into this grand opening phrase of prayer to God, “To thee before the close of day.” This YouTube clip from King’s College, Cambridge (“Evensong Mecca” to many of us), is a beautiful video of the famed King’s College Choir singing this poignant choral setting, completely alone in the chapel and accompanied by candlelight. Not a bad way to spend a few evening minutes, yes? Enjoy.

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