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The music of St Paul’s cathedral 1872-1972: The origins and development of the modern cathedral choir

Storey, Timothy Charles (1998) The music of St Paul’s cathedral 1872-1972: The origins and development of the modern cathedral choir. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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The state of the cathedral's music in 1872 is first described, at the time of Stainer's appointment as organist: an extensive account is given of the means by which the choir was re-organised, disciplined and enlarged, with an examination of how the repertory was affected by these changes and by developments in the Liturgy. There follows a description of the consolidation of these reforms, with detailed consideration of the musical and religious principles upon which this modern cathedral choir had been founded, and of public reaction to the 'eclectic' method of choosing its music. Developments and continued progress later in the nineteenth century are related, and the onset of a decline in the Edwardian period. The effects both musical and financial of the First World War and its aftermath are considered, as are the severe interruption to the Cathedral's services by the closure of the dome area for structural repairs, the re-introduction of full choral services after its re-opening of the cathedral in 1930, and the difficulty of maintaining standards thereafter. The break with tradition in appointing a new Organist from outside is explained, with a comparison of his reform of the repertory at Durham and St Paul’s. The Second World War seemed to represent a most serious threat to the survival of cathedral choirs: credit is given to the Dean and Chapter for their example in maintaining the choir school in exile at Truro while the men continued to sing at St Paul's. A sympathetic appraisal is given of the choir in the post-war years, though the need of reform is admitted, and the thesis is concluded with an evaluation of a new Dean and Organist's prescription for the modernisation of the cathedral's music and worship, and the creation for the 1970s of a modern cathedral choir.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1998
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:37

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