2010/11 SEASON

from darkness into light concert image

From Darkness into Light

Wednesday 29th June 2011, St Mary-le-Bow, London
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A choral journey, from the dark wilderness of despair to the life-affirming power of faith, moved from the stark nihilism of Taedet anima mea from Victoria's 1605 Requiem and Tarik O'Regan's 21st-century Two Emily Dickinson Settings, via Philip Moore's sombre and little-known Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to the confidence of Parry's I know my soul hath power, the ethereal mystery of John Tavener's As one who has slept, and the joyous celebration of Schütz's Deutsches Magnificat. Londinium also sang Hugo Distler’s Ich wollt, dass ich daheime war and William Byrd’s Beati mundo corde (from 'Propers for All Souls'), light entirely emerging from darkness in Bob Chilcott’s This world fareth as a fantasy.
Stephen Farr conductor

perpetual light in the old vic tunnels

Perpetual Light: Requiem for an Unscorched Earth (WP)

Saturday 4th June 2011, The Old Vic Tunnels, London
Londinium gave the first, sell-out performances of Perpetual Light: Requiem for an Unscorched Earth, an emotionally charged new work by the composer Jessica Curry, which fuses live choir, film and installation to create a profoundly moving experience remembering those who lost their lives in the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The score, for unaccompanied chamber choir, combines the age-old Requiem text with powerful extracts from the writings of Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb. Film and installation by artist Jo Fairfax completed the experience. Review: 'a dark, tormented piece, punctuated by moments of brightness...that radiated hope, the emotional thread that tied the whole piece together. From start to finish, Londinium perfectly captured this delicate emotion...' (Kay Kempin, Bachtrack).
Andrew Griffiths conductor

pastorale concert image


Tuesday 17th May 2011, St Giles Cripplegate, London
Londinium escaped to the country in a celebration of the wonders of the natural world, rejoicing in the coming of spring (Le Jeune Reveci venir du printemps) and celebrating May (Janequin A ce joly mois), before the first hints of cold (Othmayr Der Winter kalt ist vor dem Haus) as all too soon autumn returned (Brahms Im Herbst, Dem dunkeln Schoss der heil'ger Erde), and yielded to a night of snow (Poulenc Un Soir de Neige). The winter chills were vanquished for a while by the beauty of the English countryside with Finzi (I praise the tender flowers, Clear and gentle stream, Nightingales) and Britten (Five Flower Songs). The sun was bid farewell (Christopher Brown Elegy), as, in a UK première, contemporary Canadian composer Stephen Chatman went Due East. Then the natural gave way to the supernatural in Chatman's Elves' Bells.
David Lawrence conductor

nightsong concert image


Tuesday 22nd February 2011, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, London
A programme of contemplative choral music introduced by the mellifluous lines of Tudor polyphony in motets for evening prayer by Robert White (Christe qui Lux es et Dies) Tallis (Te Lucis ante Terminum), and Byrd (Miserere Mihi), book-ended by John Sheppard's beautiful seven-part twin settings of Libera Nos, Salva Nos. Bach's uplifting and affirmative double-choir motet Komm, Jesu, Komm closed the first half, while the second opened with contrasting settings associated with the evening service - Mendelssohn's late Magnificat from 1847, scored for alternating chorus and solo groups, and Holst's double-choir Nunc Dimittis of 1915. The concert concluded with themes of peace and light in Vaughan Williams' Prayer to the Father of Heaven and the ethereal tonalities of Schoenberg's extraordinary Friede auf Erden.
Andrew Griffiths conductor

Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony

Friday 17th December 2010, St Mary Aldermary, London
Londinium celebrated its fifth birthday, in praise of food and drink, with a noisy musical rendition of Gluttony, the last in the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ series. The choir guzzled, chomped and munched its way through Rutter’s Banquet Fugue; shimmied to the Tequila Samba; took Tea for Two; and then it was ‘drink and drink and drink and drink’ (Bob Chilcott’s Fragments from his Dish). It all ended, predictably enough, with Ill Wind (Flanders and Swann).
Andrew Griffiths guest conductor

requiem concert image

Requiem: Music of Farewell and Remembrance

Tuesday 16th November 2010, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, London
Saturday 20th November 2010, Queens' College, Cambridge
To mark Remembrance Day, Londinium performed a moving programme of unaccompanied choral responses to death and mourning, from Hubert Parry's powerfully lyrical Songs of Farewell to the quieter anguish of Herbert Howells' Requiem. Three haunting part-songs by contemporary American composer Eric Whitacre (including the chilling lament When David Heard, A Boy and a Girl and Sleep) and Howells' Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing (dedicated to the memory of John F Kennedy) completed a modern-day Requiem. The Cambridge performance was attended by Eric Whitacre, who commended Londinium for giving ‘One of the most beautiful performances of 'Sleep' I have ever heard’.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

2009/10 SEASON

The Seven Deadly Sins: Avarice & Envy

Tuesday 13th July 2010, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, London
When does the yearning for more become an uglier kind of desire? Londinium's varied and entertaining musical depiction of Avarice and Envy presented human craving in all its guises, from religious longing to financial greed. A concert of contrasting passions: the supplications of the soul thirsting for God (in settings of Psalm 42 by Palestrina, Schütz, Mendelssohn and Howells) and the spiteful chattering of wine-fuelled gossipers (Haydn's humorous part-song Die Beredsamkeit ); the sufferer's passionate entreaty for death and Redemption (in two extraordinary motets by Brahms) and the tale of the gambler dragged down by sin (Frank Loesser's Sit down you're rockin' the boat ). The musical journey from piety to sin descended from the purity of the Renaissance motet to the wicked humour of the show-tune.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

The Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth

Tuesday 11th May 2010, St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London
Languid melodies, sonorous harmonies and serene stillness characterized the music of indolence in Londinium's expressive vocal rendition of the Sin of Sloth. Parry's extraordinary late Songs of Farewell were at the centre of a concert for meditative reflection, in which Sloth is both heavy sleep - with its intimations of death - and the stillness of inactivity. Winding its way from Tudor England (John Dowland) to contemporary America (Eric Whitacre), this beautiful programme of unaccompanied choral music also featured reflective part-songs by Elgar, Stanford and John Ireland, Delius's wordless song To be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water, and the shimmering stillness of Saint-Saens' Calme des nuits.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath & Pride

Tuesday 23rd February 2010, St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London
Londinium explored the twin passions of Wrath and Pride in a concert ringing with the sounds of battle and bravado. The drama of the Renaissance battlefield was experienced in Janequin's exhilarating chanson La Guerre, the rousing expression of late 19th-century patriotism in Charles Stanford's choral narrative The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet, and the proud invocation of the British Empire in songs by Elgar and his contemporaries. And in the battle of the sexes, the anger of spurned love was expressed in Lassus's brutal madrigal Chi chi li chi and the deadpan narration of Cole Porter's macabre song Miss Otis Regrets.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

The Seven Deadly Sins: Lust

Tuesday 3rd November 2009, The Dutch Church Austin Friars, London
Opening Londinium's enticing series of concerts based loosely around the Seven Deadly Sins, 'Lust: The Music of Desire' presented a musical exploration of this most tantalizing of vices, in a programme ranging from madrigals - bawdy English and passionate Italian - to sensuous Romantic love-songs to wittily cynical show-tunes. Lustful passions were expressed obliquely through innuendo and double-entendre, or musically through lushly languid harmonies, in a concert which encompassed a cappella works by Dowland, Lassus, Monteverdi, Howells, Brahms, Bartok and Cole Porter.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

2008/9 SEASON

Around the World in Eighty Minutes

Wednesday 22nd July 2009, St Mary-at-Hill, London
Londinium's magical musical tour circumnavigated the globe from East to West for an evening of cultural contrasts and wide-ranging musical styles. From Renaissance anthems by Thomas Weelkes set in the Biblical Middle East to the exotic sound-world of the early church and the folk-music of Scotland (James MacMillan), via African-American spirituals (Michael Tippett's) and settings of British and Chinese folk-songs, to the greats of 20th-century American music (Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen and Ned Rorem): this breathtaking concert encompassed the sacred and the traditional, the grand and the light-hearted, polyphonic laments, Latin rhythms and haunting songs.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

In Praise of Women

Tuesday 12th May 2009, St Mary-le-Bow, London
Muse, Mother of God, Mistress: woman in all her guises was the beguiling subject of Londinium's concert celebrating the inspirational role of the feminine for composers from the Renaissance to the present. Starring a myriad of female characters, from the spotless Virgin to the cold-hearted mistress, 'In Praise of Women' was a musical feast, featuring motets and madrigals from the English Renaissance, sacred music by Rachmaninoff, Grieg, Bruckner and Duruflé, part-songs by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Samuel Barber and Eric Whitacre, and works by contemporary composers Tarik O'Regan, and Cecilia McDowall, who attended and wrote: 'I found the sound of your choir just gorgeous - both luscious and true.  And thank you so much for including 'Regina Caeli' - such a beautiful performance in every detail.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

Londinium - A Musical Journey

Tuesday 24th February 2009, St Mary-le-Bow, London
A musical journey through centuries and styles from the Renaissance (Victoria) to the contemporary (Robin Holloway), including choral highlights such as Elgar’s Go Song of Mine, Debussy’s Trois chansons de Charles d’Orléans and Howells’ Take him, Earth, for Cherishing. Travelling also from the sacred to the secular, the programme (appropriately on the eve of Lent) included Kenneth Leighton’s moving Passiontide Drop, Drop, Slow Tears of 1961, from his Crucifixus pro Nobis; it concluded with Robin Holloway’s post-romantic setting of poems by James Joyce He-She-Together (1978) in a performance which the composer, who attended, described as 'searing'.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

Messiah - George Friderich Handel

Saturday 13th December 2008, St George's Church Beckenham, Kent
Handel’s masterpiece with internationally renowned soloists and the brilliant Londinium choir."
St George's Chamber Orchestra
Fflur Wyn soprano | Patricia Orr mezzo-soprano | Nicholas Hurndall Smith tenor | Charles Gibbs bass
Madeleine Lovell conductor

Roman Rock: Peter, Palestrina and the Polyphonic Style

Friday 24th October 2008, St Mary-le-Bow, London
Londinium performed Palestrina's richly textured 6-part Motet and Mass Tu es Petrus in a programme of sacred choral music which reflected the legacy of Palestrina and the musical styles of the late Italian Renaissance. Sixteenth-century Catholic church music, St Peter and the polyphonic style were themes running through this concert of beautiful unaccompanied choral music, including two motets from Byrd's second book of Gradualia (1607), Robert Pearsall's motet Tu es Petrus (better known with the text Lay a Garland) and Duruflé's Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

2007/8 SEASON

58 Processions

Friday 8 August 2008, The Crypt, St Pancras Euston Road, London
Based on the Holy Week processions in Seville, 58 Processions is a sound installation by the artist and sound recordist Duncan Whitley and composer and sound artist James Wyness which transposed the dynamic theatre of the processions from the streets of Seville into the passages and spaces of The Crypt at St Pancras church. It was opened by a special event at which Londinium performed live extracts from Victoria's Tenebrae Responsories, interspersed with the sounds of Seville's Holy Week.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

An English Summertime

Wednesday 9th July 2008, St Mary-le-Bow, London
In the 50th anniversary year of Vaughan Williams' death, An English Summertime placed his Mass in G minor at the centre of a concert of English choral music from the first half of the twentieth century - music which draws on Tudor polyphony, folk song, the poetry of Shakespeare and an English pastoral tradition to present a romantic view of England and Britain. The programme included music by Vaughan Williams' teachers Charles Stanford and Hubert Parry, his close friend Gustav Holst and the young Benjamin Britten.
Madeleine Lovell conductor

To be continued... Londinium's first public performance was a concert of music by Palestrina and Byrd at St Mary-at-Hill on Wednesday 9th November 2005, conducted by Brian Gordon.