Ooh, look at this, the Lectionary reading for Evening Prayer is Psalm 42, Like as the hart desireth the water brook, so my soul longeth for the, O God and my job just got really, really easy, because just about every composer of note has had a crack at this one.
I’ve listened to a lot of them while writing this post, but in the end, I realised that the one that first came to mind when I saw this text was the one I most wanted to use. Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus, is a lovely, gentle piece of polyphony, a delight to sing, and so restful to listen to. It doesn’t have the drama and romanticism of Mendelssohn’s setting, but it has a sweetness that is almost piercing, and conveys a profound sense of longing. And I think we had enough drama yesterday in any case.
I hope you love this piece as much as I do!