Sylvia Townsend Warner in Westminster Abbey - 1 July, 1929

from The diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner, page 38:

...White service at the Abbey in the evening. My precamur, the Magnificat - it was entertaining to hear my added cantus part careering about that roof on 18th cent. wings - the Miserere, and O Praise God. Hearing my version, done for them, incorporating both 4 and 8 p[ar]t versions absolutely clinched my conviction that the 4pt is an adaptation and very base at that...The White sicut erat beginning with that low F in the bass is exactly like the world beginning to turn round in chaos and hum like a great top.  It spins faster, and the pitch rises.

cite as

Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Claire Harman (ed.), The diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner (:London, 1995), p. 38. accessed: 23 June, 2024

location of experience: Westminster Abbey


Sylvia Townsend Warner
Musicologist, Writer

Listening to

hide composers
unknown choral music
written by Henry Purcell

Experience Information

Date/Time 1 July, 1929
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public


'White' refers to Robert White, the sixteenth century composer whose music STW edited for vol. v of Tudor Church Music. From 1570-1574 he was organist and choirmaster of Westminster Abbey.

Originally submitted by Jo Reardon on Tue, 08 Sep 2015 11:20:45 +0100
Approved on Fri, 18 Dec 2015 14:05:26 +0000