Herbert Howells’ Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Collegium Regale), for SATB and Organ accompaniment, is a vibrant sacred work with beautiful voicings and a. Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for St Paul’s Cathedral, also known as the St Paul’s Service, is a setting by the English composer Herbert Howells of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for others being his settings for King’s College Cambridge ( Collegium Regale) and for Gloucester Cathedral – where the music “burns through. Herbert Howells () .. The Collegium Regale Magnificat and Nunc dimittis have rightly become the most celebrated settings of the twentieth century.

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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first. Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats.

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Herbert Howells – Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis: Collegium Regale

Stephen Layton and his award-winning choir took the trip to Hlwells Cathedral for this very special recording. He was still reeling from the tragic death from polio of his son, Michael, in and, though highly regarded, he was now thought of mainly as an eminent teacher of composition at the Royal College of Music.

When the war ended Colletium was made a fellow commoner, and in the college granted him an honorary fellowship. The university conferred an honorary doctorate on him in Milner-White had clearly not forgotten about Howells, and now the seed that he had sown in was about to flower.


Only the Gloria should raise its voice. The given promise dictated style and scope. Clearly his time in Cambridge was happy, and Howells was feeling more fulfilled and optimistic about his own future.

The Te Deum is the longest of all the canticles and Howells is alive to the need to create contrasts of mood and colour and to craft a convincing musical shape out of a disparate text. His setting has poise and structure, and builds convincingly to a final peroration. The text is dispatched quickly and efficiently and Howells reserves his most expansive music for the concluding Gloria. The Kyrie reprises the opening chords of the Magnificat, and the Gloria sung as a closing hymn of praise in the Book of Common Prayer rite makes extensive use of music from the Te Deum.

But Magnifucat is not rehale earlier scores because of a shortage of inspiration: Howells was not a major contributor to this repertoire, but the examples recorded here—Psalms and —possibly dating from as early as his student days at the RCM, have just the right balance of fulfilled and confounded harmonic expectation to bear the repeated hearings that the form demands, and justify their place with the very best.

HOWELLS Collegium Regale

Long before Cambridge, long before it was even suspected that Howells would become the composer reglae the church music with which he is now pre-eminently associated, even before the Piano Quartet and Rhapsodic Quintet for clarinet and strings, prize-winning works that marked him out as a force to be reckoned with in modern British music, Howells had begun to contribute with distinction to the repertoire of the cathedral organist.


This was the tradition in which he had served his apprenticeship as an articled pupil of Herbert Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral in his teens, the tradition nagnificat which he began his working life in as sub-organist of Salisbury Cathedral ill health obliged him to relinquish this post after only a few months. Magnificar completed this quiet, reflective prelude to a great state occasion at the end of that year, on Christmas Day.

For the Coronation itself the combined choirs were large and Howells provided a fully orchestrated score, but this sensitive anthem is more usually heard, as here, with smaller amgnificat and organ accompaniment.

In the context of his own art, no finer craftsman than Howells could have been chosen: Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Don’t show me this message again.

April Total duration: Howells played these works, as he always did, on the piano. The concert featured music by composers associated with the university and its colleges, including Gibbons, Walmisley, Sterndale Bennett, Alan Gray and Patrick Hadley. Howells had had no previous association with Cambridge before being invited to deputize for Orr.