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2018/19 (CURRENT SEASON)

 A Londinium Bestiary image

A Londinium Bestiary

Friday 5th October 2018, St John’s Waterloo, London
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Londinium presented a thrilling programme of works on the theme of weird and wonderful creatures. Kenneth Leighton's unpublished Laudes Animantium ('Praises of the Creatures') is a superb sequence of poems about animals, from Blake's Lamb and Tyger to Tennyson's Kraken, by way of Edward Lear and others. Ola Gjeilo's Unicornis Captivatur, based on 15th-century chants, introduced us to the unicorn and more. Bernard Hughes' 2011 A Medieval Bestiary explored the relationship between medieval man and the animal world in music as inventive and exhilarating as the dramatis personae, including the manticore, parander, gryphon, monoceros, dragon, panther, and scorpion.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


2017/18

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Leise Töne der Brust | The Heart's Music

Saturday 25th August 2018, Lutherkirche, Wiesbaden
Sunday 26th August 2018, Johanneskirche, Bingam am Rhein

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For its debut performances in Germany, Londinium performed Hubert Parry's highly personal Songs of Farewell, perhaps the greatest flowering of the English Romantic choral tradition, alongside Brahms' superb, autumnal Fünf Gesänge, Op.104. Brahms was an important influence on Parry, whose centenary falls this year. At Wiesbaden music by William Byrd and Charles Wood and a modern classic by Howard Skempton, together with works by John Ireland and EJ Moeran taken from the choir's recent recording, “The Gluepot Connection”, completed the programme.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


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Captured Light

Friday 6th July 2018, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
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Marking the centenaries of the deaths of Claude Debussy and Lili Boulanger, Londinium plunged into the heady world of early twentieth-century French choral music. Lili Boulanger, the first woman to win the prestigious Prix de Rome, lived for just 24 years; her prodigious talent is nowhere clearer than in her luxuriant and often-ecstatic works for choir and piano. Debussy's classic Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans was paired with virtuosic transcriptions of his songs and piano music by the masterful arranger Clytus Gottwald, and the programme completed with works by Fauré and Ravel, together with the perennially popular Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens by Maurice Duruflé.
Andrew Griffiths conductor | Leanne Singh-Levett piano


 Sea Change image

Sea Change

Friday 25th May 2018, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
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Inspired by Richard Rodney Bennett's classic Sea Change, a virtuoso evocation of the mystery and majesty of the ocean, Londinium encountered shipwreck (in Mäntyjärvi's haunting Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae), myths and legends (Coleridge-Taylor's ghoulish Sea Drift and Brahms' Vineta), folksongs and shanties, and explored sea journeys as a rich source of metaphor, both religious and secular. Our repertoire ranged from sixteenth-century Italy to the present day, and included music by Wert, Campion, Brahms, Parry, Grieg, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Gabriel Jackson and Howard Skempton.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 the gluepot connection

The Gluepot Connection

Saturday 10th March 2018, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
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This celebratory concert marked the launch of Londinium's debut recording 'The Gluepot Connection' - a mouthwatering selection of British choral music by composers who frequented 'The George' pub in Great Portland Street in the first half of the twentieth century, released on the SOMM label. Our programme included highlights from the disc: Arnold Bax's stupendous Mater ora filium and works by Alan Bush, John Ireland, Elisabeth Lutyens, EJ Moeran, Alan Rawsthorne and Peter Warlock. Alongside this glorious repertoire we performed an underrated masterpiece: Kenneth Leighton's Mass for Double Choir, op.44.
Andrew Griffiths conductor
William Nicholson organ (Credo, Mass for Double Choir)


 Long, Long Ago

Long, Long Ago

Friday 15th December 2017, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
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A vibrant and inventive selection of seasonal repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the present day: firm favourites such as Tavener's The Lamb and Rachmaninoff's Bogoroditse Devo complemented rarities by Howells, Warlock and EW Naylor, whilst superb motets by Byrd, Weelkes, and Schütz were heard alongside contemporary classics-in-the-making by Jan Sandström, Jaako Mäntyjärvi and Jonathan Harvey.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 there is sweet music

There is Sweet Music

Friday 13th October 2017, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
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A  celebration of the essence of music itself: from the sixteenth century to the present day, composers have risen to the challenge of setting words describing their own art, and our selection offered a feast of the finest choral music, both sacred and secular. Ethereal works by Lassus, Tomkins, and Vaughan Williams rubbed shoulders with vivacious music by Gibbons, Tippett, and Elliott Carter, while the familiar worlds of Byrd, Brahms and Elgar were offset by little-known gems by Frank Bridge, Zoltán Kodály, Howard Skempton and Arvo Pärt. The centrepiece was a dazzling evocation of music-making, Bach's most virtuosic motet, Singet dem Herrn.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


2016/17 SEASON

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Resurrection Light

Friday 31st March 2017, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
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A musical journey through Holy Week - the acclamation of the crowds on Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the arrest at Gethsemane, the Crucifixion itself, and finally the empty tomb and risen Christ on Easter morning. Our repertoire included music by some of the greatest composers of the Renaissance (among them Taverner, Lassus and Lhéritier), works by the German Romantics and from the Russian Orthodox tradition, and English music by Herbert Howells, Charles Wood, Jim Clements and Giles Swayne. The heart of our programme was one of the finest new choral works of our time: James MacMillan's profoundly moving setting of the Miserere.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


Kensington to Bloomsbury

Kensington to Bloomsbury

Friday 10th February 2017, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
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During the first half of the twentieth century an eclectic and fascinating group of composers gathered in an unlikely cornerstone of London's musical culture: 'The George' pub on Great Portland Street in Bloomsbury (nicknamed ‘The Gluepot’ by Sir Henry Wood). The 'Gluepot Connection' was represented in well-loved works by William Walton, Arnold Bax, John Ireland and EJ Moeran, alongside lesser-known gems by Alan Rawsthorne and Elisabeth Lutyens. To complement this selection we looked to the Royal College of Music in Kensington, where Herbert Howells taught and several Gluepot composers were students; the concert included Howells’ masterpiece: the Requiem of 1932.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness

Friday 16th December 2016, St Mary-at-Hill, London
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A festive programme traced the journey from Old Testament prophecy to the events of the Nativity in a superb selection of a cappella repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day. Highlights included Poulenc's lyrical Four Christmas Motets, music by Brahms, Byrd, Lassus, Mendelssohn, Mouton and Schütz, and, from our own time, works by James MacMillan and Cecilia McDowall. Londinium's programme closed with a rare performance of Schoenberg's glorious early masterpiece Friede auf Erden: an unforgettable, sumptuously-scored clarion call for harmony and brotherhood in a fractured world.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 The Seven Ages of Man

The Seven Ages of Man

Friday 14th October 2016, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
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Inspired by Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It, a beguiling programme of unaccompanied choral music traced a course from the cradle to the grave. An intriguing and eclectic journey began with the tender sounds of Eric Whitacre's Sleep My Child, and ended with William Harris' luscious Bring us, O Lord God, taking in music old (Dufay, Tallis, Gabrieli, Byrd) and new (Dominick Argento's There was a naughty boy, Bob Chilcott’s Even such is time), as well as evergreen works by Bruckner, Parry and Holst. The centrepiece of the programme was Thea Musgrave's 2010 Proms commission Ithaca, a celebration of life's journey in all its splendour.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


2015/15 SEASON

 perspectives anglaises

Perspectives Anglaises

Saturday 27th August 2016, S Matthieu, Colmar, France
Sunday 28th August 2016, Abbaye de Marbach, Obermorschwihr, France
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During its first overseas tour Londinium performed a feast of music to audiences in Alsace. From the Renaissance world of Byrd and Tallis to the Romantic works of Elgar and Stanford and the dazzling contemporary sounds of Jonathan Harvey and James MacMillan, the programme showcased the very best of British a cappella choral music. Review: 'La fraîcheur d’une performance vocale spectaculaire libérant des tessitures semblant sans limites / The freshness of a spectacular vocal performance with seemingly limitless vocal textures.' (DNA France) Read review
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 sunshine after rain

Sunshine after Rain

Friday 8th July 2016, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
Saturday 9th July 2016, St Paul's Beckenham, Kent

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Londinium closed its tenth-anniversary season with a delicious selection of music celebrating the great outdoors. Beautiful partsongs by Elgar, Delius, Vaughan Williams, Ireland and Sterndale Bennett rubbed shoulders with superb recent works by Nicholas Maw, Cecilia McDowall, Bernard Rose and James MacMillan. Mendelssohn's vivacious op.59 'Songs to be sung in the open air' and Britten's classic Five Flower Songs completed this delightful programme. The performance at St Paul's Beckenham raised over £1,000 for Central London Samaritans.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 In Love's Garden

In Love's Garden

Friday 20th May 2016, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
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The Old Testament Song of Songs contains some of the most beautiful love poetry ever written, and its heady eroticism has inspired superb music from composers across five centuries. Londinium's programme centred on the rarely-performed, luscious twelve-voiced Le Cantique des Cantiques by Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur, which was heard alongside sumptuous Renaissance works by Clemens non Papa, Tomás Luis de Victoria and Hieronymus Praetorius, and equally seductive works by two modern masters, Howard Skempton and Francis Grier.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


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Something Rich and Strange

Saturday 13th February 2016, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
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To mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, Londinium presented an entrancing programme of choral music inspired by his work. Alongside such masterpieces as Frank Martin's Songs of Ariel and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Three Shakespeare Songs, we included some of the earliest surviving Shakespeare settings, by Thomas Morley and Robert Johnson, and a superb selection of recent music, including Huw Watkins' The Phoenix and the Turtle and Humphrey Clucas' Shakespeare Songs - both composers attended and spoke warmly of the performances - together with works by Judith Weir, Michael Berkeley and Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


 i sing of a maiden concert image

I Sing of a Maiden

Friday 11th December 2015, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
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Inspired by Arnold Bax's virtuosic masterpiece Mater ora filium, Londinium presented a concert of English Christmas music in praise of the Virgin Mary. The programme ranged from the shimmering, translucent world of Thomas Tallis' Videte miraculum to the majesty of Tavener's Hymn to the Mother of God, and from favourites by Howells and John Joubert to lesser-known gems by Howard Skempton and Richard Rodney Bennett. Londinium was delighted to sing Francis Pott's setting of I Sing of a Maiden; he described the performance as 'beautifully done'.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


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Voices of the North: Sibelius, Nielsen & their contemporaries

Friday 23rd October 2015, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
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Londinium marked 150 years since the births of two great Nordic composers, Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen, with a concert including Sibelius' haunting Rakastava (The Lover) and Nielsen's intense Tre Motetter together with ravishing music by Peter Lange-Müller, Wilhelm Stenhammar and Toivo Kuula - composers hardly known to UK audiences - and Einojuhani Rautavaara's classic Lorca Suite. Review: 'Londinium, conducted with great style by Andrew Griffiths, has the twin merits of balance and clarity in its projection of each work.' (Edward Clark, reviewing for 'Musical Opinion' and the UK Sibelius Society) Read review
Andrew Griffiths conductor