from a concert of Canons Ancient and Modern, April 29, 2018
St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church, Lexington KY
Richard S. Dirksen, Director
The two sets of Canons on Psalm 101 and Proverbs were composed in two summers of 1954 and 1955 for the cathedral choir of men to sing in their annual end-of-August Evensong and concert (no boys in the summer). They had sung Haydn's "Canons for the Ten Holy Commands" in 1953 with such joy and success that the men ordered Dirksen to write new ones. There are performance charts for each canon that are "maps" of how to create variations of length and complexity in their working out.
The Twelve Proverbial Canons are presented in full below. The rest will follow in due season.
Score & audio.