Tag Archives: john tavener

Collegium of Cappella Nicolai, Amsterdam

As I was too tired to go to church today, I decided to watch the weekly Mass broadcast on TV instead, which is aired from a different church every week. I was pleasantly surprised to see that today’s broadcast came from the St. Nicholas church in Amsterdam. I have fond memories of its services and know people who have sung or still sing there, and what’s more, since yesterday this 125 year old church can call itself a basilica, which is basically a royal stamp in church terms. Today’s liturgy therefore included the anointing of the altar by the bishop and a rich splendour of glorious singing by the Collegium of Cappella Nicolai. Especially the Victoria, Lauridsen, Pärt and Tavener pieces were amazing (…wait, that’s almost the entire service ;)). Four of my favourite composers in one service… I just wish they would never stop singing! Director of music Michael Hedley is renowned for his professional approach – ofcourse, we can’t expect less from an Englishman 😉 (And all this just four days after the traditional Dutch St. Nicholas celebration!)

Here’s the full service for you to enjoy:

cap nicolai

Music sung during the service:

Victoria: Vidi aquam
Palestrina: Stetit angelus
Lauridsen: O nata Lux
Pärt: O Holy St. Nicholas
Tavener: Apolytikion for St. Nicholas
Hassler: Agnus Dei, Missa Octo Voci


Singing in the Rain

Yesterday it rained non-stop in the Netherlands and I had a very full day with some intense moments. One of them was singing in my church with my choir for the funeral of one of the sisters of one of our altos. I felt so sorry for everyone that they had to say goodbye in such miserable weather. But I was grateful that so many choir members and quite a number of former members as well were present at such short notice to sing for this service and help comfort our alto. It was a moment when I was grateful for my gift of singing, however simple (I’m not a very good singer ;)) to really be used in a meaningful way.

It was a very long and tiring day yesterday, with rain, rain, rain and wind, wind, wind… After the funeral service though I got this song in my head and it stayed with me the rest of the day 🙂 When I got home around 11:30 PM I put on this recording of Tavener by St. John’s College Choir and really felt a sense of peace return…