FGSJ 20th Anniversary Concert | Ramirez: Misa Criolla

Saturday 25th October 2014 at 7.30pm

St James's Sussex Gardens, Paddington, London, W2 3UD

FGSJ web flyerThe Friends of the Georgian Society of Jamaica celebrate their 20th Anniversary with a joyous mix of music inspired by Latin-American rhythms, gospel spirituals and the music of Jamaica itself.  As the centrepiece, we sing Ariel Ramirez’s stunning Misa Criolla with Christopher Diffey, one of this generation’s up-and-coming tenors, as soloist.  Traditional instruments, played by Carlos Muñoz Villalobos, Leo Turner and Armando Murillo (who also play Latin-American instrumental items during the concert), imbue the Spanish text with the Latin-American sounds and rhythms of Ramirez’s native Argentina. The programme features choral music by contemporary Jamaican composers, including Eleanor Alberga’s vivacious My Heart Danceth, written in 2007, and a traditional setting of Psalm 27 by Noel Dexter, together with arrangements of spirituals and folksongs by Andrew Marshall and the distinguished musicologist Olive Lewin (who died last year).  The charming nineteenth-century part song Water-lilies, from 'Songs of the River', provides a rare chance to hear music by the Jamaican-born British composer, Sir Frederic Cowen, esteemed in his day, but now almost forgotten.  Sir Michael Tippett could not be more English, but he sought inspiration for his much-loved Five Spirituals (from ‘A Child of Our Time’) elsewhere; it spans the continents, fusing the directness of the gospel spiritual with his own distinctive musical style.

The concert raises funds for the Friends of the Georgian Society of Jamaica, a registered charity dedicated to the preservation, restoration and maintenance of Jamaica’s historic buildings. BUY TICKETS ONLINE HERE  £20 (Nave), £15 (Aisles); free drink on arrival.

Christopher Diffey tenor

Carlos Muñoz Villalobos charango

Leo Turner Spanish guitar

Armando Murillo percussion

Andrew Griffiths conductor


A Boy Was Born

Friday 12th December 2014 at 7.30pm

St Mary-at-Hill, Eastcheap, London, EC3R 8EE

Londinium's typically vibrant Christmas programme offers a delicious selection of festive music old and new, familiar and invigorating. Long-established favourites, including Leighton's Lully, Lulla, Cornelius' The Three Kings and Darke's In the Bleak Midwinter (newly arranged for this concert by Jim Clements), rub shoulders with miniature gems by Praetorius, Sweelinck, Warlock and Gabriel Jackson. These carols are chosen to mirror the texts found in the dazzling and virtuosic set of choral variations which provides the climax to our programme: A Boy Was Born, the first major work for choir by the precociously-talented nineteen-year-old Benjamin Britten. Mulled wine and mince pies complete a delectable evening!

Andrew Griffiths conductor

Our Christmas concert includes Britten's amazing A Boy Was Born - a thirty-minute tour de force, written when the composer was only 19. It's structured as a theme and variations, using a series of Christmas texts.  The rest of the programme will 'answer' the Britten by featuring as nearly as possible alternative settings of the same words by a wide variety of different composers. Some will be well-known (Leighton's Coventry Carol, Cornelius' Three Kings, Darke's In the bleak midwinter), and some less so, including music by Sweelinck, Praetorius and Warlock (Corpus Christi).