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Candlemas at Wells

January 17, 2015

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Opus Anglicanum’s John Rowlands-Pritchard writes:

Each January the cathedral nave in Wells is cleared of chairs, discovering the space in its original proportion, a beautiful and salutary experience. A series of ‘promenade’ concerts has developed to take advantage of the clear space, given principally by the cathedral school specialist musicians. For the past seven years the singers (only) of OA have taken the opportunity to give a concert of chant as part of the series, using chant for the Purification, 2 February, later known as Candlemas through the ceremony of distributing candles in the service on that day. The cathedral servers join us with incense and candles which heightens the sense of similitude to the original service, the music of which we perform whilst moving round the darkened building. This is a special occasion greatly anticipated by many. And it is a wonderful privilege for us to have the opportunity to perform an hour’s recital of the cathedral chant, music from the era during which the successive buildings were constructed on this site from Saxon times onward. Indeed, it is this music which they were specifically constructed to enshrine.

You don’t have to be a believer to appreciate this. I for one would not like to miss the annual opportunity to experience sublime music and a candle-lit walking meditation in a mediaeval space purged of its usual clutter of modern furniture. This was how it felt two years ago.

TICKETS: WELLS CATHEDRAL SHOP 01749 672773 (and at door if not sold out).

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