Howells – Collegium Regale Magnificat

One of the most joyous moments in English church music is the opening of the Collegium Regale 'Gloria',

Choral music twitter has been amusing itself over the last few weeks with a World Cup of Evensong Canticles, which ended today in a nail-biting final between two settings by Howells – his Gloucester Service, and this one, written for King’s College Cambridge. The Gloucester setting was a deserving winner, and probably the connoisseurs’ choice, but my vote went to ‘Coll Reg’ for that unspeakably glorious moment at the start of the Gloria (3’35): those scrumptious organ chords that burst out of near-silence, followed by a soaring treble line that’s basically a shortcut to paradise.

Whenever I get to sing this with friends in a Sunday afternoon cathedral evensong, I feel as if I’m the luckiest person alive. The last time I sang it was in Bristol Cathedral with Voces Usuales, the occasional-cathedral-visiting-choir that I sing with, on a sunny August bank holiday weekend, the perfect ending to what had been a lovely summer holiday.

One of the most joyous moments in English church music is the opening of the Collegium Regale 'Gloria',

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