Jubilee Service


There's no question that for musicians, St Paul's Cathedral, astonishing though it always looks, has a particularly challenging acoustic. Having contributed a new anthem to this week's Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving, I spent a long and fascinating morning attending the live event, but was equally glad to return home afterwards and hear the whole thing on catch-up television. How grateful I was to the BBC for capturing the sound so expertly in this bendy space, together with of course their elegant lighting and visual command of this extraordinary space.


If you have a taste for the phenomenon of Slow TV, you might particularly enjoy the early stretches of this event when guests are observed gradually entering the Cathedral in ones and twos, having a chat here and there, and slowly seating themselves over a period of two hours or so, before the religious ceremony actually starts.


For anyone still with us by then, my anthem By Wisdom starts around 2h 50'30". And in the preamble I would like to point out my short chat with Sophie Raworth (1h 15'30") and two delightful St Paul's choirboys, much of our wise words blasted out by last-minute super loud military brass rehearsals. I could go on for ever about our interesting experiences during the day, but why not spend a relaxing three and a quarter hours watching the story unfold on BBC iPlayer ?(!)


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JUDITH WEIR

Composer