I watched the funeral yesterday of Lady Thatcher, really only because I wanted to hear the singing and listen to the organ. And I was not disappointed; I thought the music from St. Paul’s was magnificent. I am particularly fond of Brahms German Requiem from which the choir sang: “How lovely are your dwellings” As a teenager I went on a Hampshire County Music Course at which we studied it, and then sang the Requiem for an audience.
I understand that around the same time the organ was installed at St. Paul’s the organ at Salisbury was also installed.. Sir John Stainer was the organist at St. Paul’s and on a visit to Salisbury played the organ and he is reported as saying that of the two, Salisbury was the better instrument. It is certainly magnificent and I’ve played it on a number of occasions mainly to accompany the Salisbury & Wells Theological College Choir who used to sing Evensong there every term. One of those occasions was the Evensong for Ascension Day.
I thought the Bishop of London’s sermon hit just the right note and I was impressed by the way Lady Thatcher’s granddaughter Amanda’s read some of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians.