The Short Service(2019)
English (Book of Common Prayer, 1662)
Boosey & Hawkes
York Minster, York
Choir of York Minster / Robert Sharpe
Choral level of difficulty: 2 (5 greatest)
Commissioned by the Cathedral Organists’ Association in 2019 in celebration of their centenary and premiered by the choir of York Minster under Robert Sharpe. It was Sharpe’s idea to have a contemporary Short Service which could sit alongside the Tudor canon of Weelkes, Byrd etc and be sung on a Friday (which is the traditional unaccompanied Evensong day of the week) or any other day with either a complimentary or contrasting anthem. This simple setting is designed for any choir of reasonable attainment and may be accompanied by organ or left unaccompanied as primarily intended. There are no divisions and the only mildly challenging moment is the soprano/treble ornamented phrase at ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things’. The Glorias are the same except for the more extended and repeated final Amens in the Nunc Dimittis. A fine example of MacMillan’s ability to write at any level appropriate for its purpose and yet express himself without compromise.
In performance it is important to be particularly meticulous about the dynamics and the tempi which are quite detailed.
Repertoire Note by Paul Spicer