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St Paul's Cathedral Choir to pay tribute to Sir John Tavener

Following the sad news of the death of Sir John Tavener this week, the St Paul's Cathedral Choir will sing one of his favourite works at Evensong this Friday.

At Choral Evensong on Friday 15 November at 5pm, the listed anthem will be replaced by The Lamb, one of Sir John's most-loved choral works.

Often performed as a Christmas carol, The Lamb is a setting of a poem by William Blake, a simple, unaccompanied work for four voices, written in 1982.

Sir John Tavener's works included many religious pieces, three of which were written for St Paul's Cathedral.
  • Three Antiphons - with text taken from the psalms and Isaiah, first performed on 7 May 1995 on the occasion of the Service of Thanksgiving, Reconciliation and Hope to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.
  • Hymn for the Sovereign - for the Imperial Society of the Knights Bachelor service in 2008.
  • Fall and Resurrection - premièred on 4 Jan 2000, an exploration of the relationship between God and Man.  

St Paul's Cathedral's Director of Music, Andrew Carwood, said: "John Tavener’s heartfelt music has given expression to many who are searching for the spiritual in their life. His direct unaffected style has allowed the sacred to take its place at the centre of humanity."

The Revd Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul's, added: "We were very sorry to hear of the death of Sir John Tavener. He was well known to us here at St Paul’s and wrote several compositions for acts of worship at the Cathedral. His spiritual depth and faithful observance informed his skill and enhanced his music. Our thoughts are prayers are with Lady Tavener and her family.”

The Lamb
William Blake

Little Lamb who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed.
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.