Past Concerts and Performances

 
 
From start to finish, Londinium perfectly captured this delicate emotion...
— Kay Kempin, Bachtrack
 

2015/16  |  2014/15  |  2013/14  |  2012/13  |  2011/12  |  2010/11  |  2009/10  |  2008/9  |  2007/8  |  Programmes  |  Conductors

2016/17 SEASON

Resurrection Light concert image

Resurrection Light

Friday 31st March 2017, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
View Programme
Londinium embarked on a musical journey through Holy Week; beginning with the acclamation of the crowds on Palm Sunday, our programme led us to the Last Supper, the arrest at Gethsemane, the Crucifixion itself, and finally to the empty tomb and risen Christ on Easter morning. Our sumptuous selection of repertoire included some of the greatest composers of the Renaissance (amongst 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. At 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
View Programme
Londinium explored an unlikely cornerstone of London's musical culture: 'The George' pub on Great Portland Street in Bloomsbury (nicknamed ‘The Gluepot’ by Sir Henry Wood, such was its adhesive effect on his musicians), where an eclectic and fascinating group of composers gathered during the first half of the twentieth century. 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; our concert included Howells’ masterpiece, contemporary with many of the works performed: the Requiem of 1932. Much of this music will be included in our debut CD.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness

Friday 16th December 2016, St Mary-at-Hill, London
View Programme
Londinium's 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. Our 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
View Programme
Inspired by Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It, this beguiling programme of unaccompanied choral music traced a course from the cradle to the grave. Our 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 our programme was Thea Musgrave's 2010 Proms commission Ithaca, a celebration of life's journey in all its splendour.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


2015/16 SEASON

perspectives anglaises

Perspectives Anglaises

Saturday 27th August 2016, S Matthieu, Colmar, France
Sunday 28th August 2016, Abbaye de Marbach, Obermorschwihr, France
View Programmme
During its first overseas tour Londinium performed a feast of British a cappella choral 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 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

View Programme
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
View Programme
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


Something Rich and Strange image

Something Rich and Strange

Saturday 13th February 2016, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
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
View Programme
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 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


Voices of the north image

Voices of the North: Sibelius, Nielsen and their contemporaries

Friday 23rd October 2015, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
Londinium opened its tenth-anniversary season by marking 150 years since the births of two great Nordic composers, Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen. Although known primarily for their symphonies, both wrote beautiful and characterful choral music; the selection included Sibelius' haunting Rakastava (The Lover) and Nielsen's intense Tre Motetter. The programme also included ravishing music by Peter Lange-Müller, Wilhelm Stenhammar and Toivo Kuula - composers hardly known to UK audiences - and concluded with the classic Lorca Suite by Einojuhani Rautavaara. 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


2014/15 SEASON

songs of farewell concert image

Songs of Farewell

Friday 3rd July 2015, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
Londinium performed Hubert Parry's masterpiece and swansong, the glorious Songs of Farewell. Written during the First World War, as Parry's world crumbled around him, these achingly beautiful settings of the metaphysical poets rate amongst the finest of all English choral music. Parry's great love of German culture no doubt made the conflict all the more painful for him; the influence of Brahms in particular shines through his music, and his virtuosic Fest- und Gedenksprüche was sung alongside the Parry, together with the exquisitely subtle Vier doppelchörige Gesänge of Brahms' great friend and advocate, Robert Schumann. The programme was completed by another double-choir motet, in many ways a direct descendant of Parry's Songs of Farewell: William Harris' ravishing setting of Spenser, Faire is the Heaven.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


Once upon a time concert image

Once Upon a Time

Friday 15th May 2015, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
An intoxicating programme of musical story-telling in a world of fairy-tale, fable, myth and legend peopled by a wonderful cast of characters, amongst them Alice in Wonderland, Ariadne, the King of Thule, Orpheus, Bunyan's Pilgrim and Robin Hood. The fauna was no less remarkable: the Unicorn, Crocodile, Phoenix and Hydra were to be found alongside the Ant and the Grasshopper, brought to life in choral music spanning six centuries. Highlights included exquisite madrigals by Monteverdi, beautiful folksongs by Brahms, a remarkable cantata by Martinu and Vaughan Williams' Valiant-for-truth, alongside works by Josquin, Weelkes, Schumann, Gounod, H. Garrett Phillips, David Del Tredici and Ola Gjeilo. Review: ‘They performed the Vaughan Williams as though it had been written for them.’ (Hilary Glover, planethugill.com)
Andrew Griffiths conductor


rachmaninoff vespers oncert image

Rachmaninoff Vespers (All-Night Vigil)

Saturday 7th February 2015, St Andrew Holborn, London
View Programme
In celebration of the hundredth anniversary of its première, Londinium performed one of the greatest of all a cappella choral works: Rachmaninoff's magnificent All-Night Vigil. This monumental setting, enveloping ancient Church Slavonic chant in music of unparalleled richness, was Rachmaninoff's last major work before leaving Russia. It also represents both the final flowering and greatest achievement of the Russian Orthodox tradition before its suppression after the October Revolution. Rachmaninoff's work was preceded by Knut Nystedt's haunting O Crux, performed in memory of its composer whose hundredth birthday would have fallen in 2015.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


a boy was born concert image

A Boy Was Born

Friday 12th December 2014, St Mary-at-Hill, London
View Programme
A vibrant Christmas programme offered 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), rubbed shoulders with miniature gems by Praetorius, Sweelinck, Warlock and Gabriel Jackson. These carols mirrored the texts found in the dazzling and virtuosic set of choral variations: A Boy Was Born, the first major work for choir by the precociously-talented nineteen-year-old Benjamin Britten.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


fgsj concert image

FGSJ 20th Anniversary concert

Saturday 25th October 2014, St James's Sussex Gardens, London
View Programme
Ariel Ramirez’s Misa Criolla was the centrepiece of a concert for the Friends of the Georgian Society of Jamaica, in a programme also featuring music by the contemporary Jamaican composers Eleanor Alberga (My Heart Danceth), Noel Dexter, Andrew Marshall and Olive Lewin, together with the 19-century Frederic Cowen. Londinium also sang one of the classics of English a cappella repertoire, Michael Tippett's much-loved Five Spirituals from his oratorio A Child of Our Time.
Christopher Diffey tenor | Carlos Muñoz Villalobos charango | Leo Turner Spanish guitar | Armando Murillo percussion
Andrew Griffiths conductor

Back to Top


2013/14 SEASON

scenes from nature concert image

Scenes from Nature

Wednesday 2nd July 2014, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
A programme devised for the Art Fund celebrated the beauty of the natural world, partnered with specially chosen images of Art-Funded paintings.  Lyrical works by Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Howells and Moeran contrasted with exquisite miniatures by Brahms and Hindemith and the ravishing sound-worlds of Saint-Saëns and Ravel.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


ruffs and remedies concert image

Ruffs and Remedies

Friday 6th June 2014, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
A varied and vivacious summer programme took a sideways look at the English Madrigal, exploring twentieth-century responses to the Elizabethan tradition. Ernest Moeran was amongst four British composers paying affectionate tribute: his superb Phyllida and Corydon was heard alongside Thea Musgrave's pithy Four Madrigals by Thomas Wyatt, whilst Herbert Howells' early Two Madrigals and Robert Pearsall's delicious pastiche Lay a Garland offered sunshine aplenty. Madrigals by three Americans: Ned Rorem, Elliott Carter, and William Schuman, whose wicked Mail Order Madrigals are settings of quack advertisements from an 1897 Sears catalogue, provided an invigorating counterpoint.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


ruins and reflections concert image

Ruins and Reflections

Wednesday 16th April 2014, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
A Holy Week concert of composers' responses to the Book of Lamentations, including those of Byrd, a Catholic in a Protestant land, Ginastera, blacklisted by Perón’s Argentina, and Mauersberger, mourning Dresden's devastation. Contemporary responses included Nico Muhly's Recordare, Domine (2013; UK premiere) and two 2012 works, Gabriel Jackson's Lamentations of Jeremiah and Cecilia McDowall's The Lord of Good, of which she said: 'The two soloists brought an ethereal quality to a powerful, yet most poignant performance'. Milhaud's superb, rarely-performed cantata Les Deux Cités, completed the journey. The concert was also praised in a review by Hilary Glover (planethugill.com).
Andrew Griffiths conductor


chansonnerie concert image

Chansonnerie

Friday 7th February 2014, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
Londinium explored of the heady world of secular French choral music, including vividly-coloured chansons by Renaissance composers and a cappella masterpieces by twentieth-century masters including Ravel, Poulenc, and Milhaud.  A truly seductive programme was completed with French-language works by the German composer Paul Hindemith and the American Morten Lauridsen. Review: 'Londinium with their conductor Andrew Griffiths are well known for their quality performances and this foray into French music did not disappoint...They also know how to put on a show and get the best from their singers...[the] choir is definitely one to watch' (Hilary Glover, planethugill.com)
Andrew Griffiths conductor


magnificat concert image

Magnificat!

Friday 13 December 2013, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
Londinium's Advent programme was inspired by the Magnificat, the Virgin Mary's great hymn of praise. Praetorius' festive eight-part setting, interwoven with traditional German carols, contrasted with Giles Swayne's classic Magnificat I, based on Senegalese chanting, and the mystical Orthodox visions of Tavener and Rachmaninoff. As a counterpoint Londinium performed exquisitely-textured settings of the great "O Antiphons" - traditionally paired with the Magnificat in Advent - by modern masters Arvo Pärt and Bob Chilcott. Beautiful miniatures by Eccard and the young Benjamin Britten in his centenary year completed the picture: a fascinating and rewarding musical journey.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


passion and piety concert image

Passion and Piety

Friday 4th October 2013, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
In a thrilling contrast, Londinium brought together Carlo Gesualdo, famed for both the murder of his wife and his extraordinary, harmonically revolutionary music, and the Swiss composer Frank Martin. Gesualdo's madrigals were sung alongside Stravinsky’s whimsical re-compositions of his incomplete motets and Peter Warlock’s luscious The Full Heart, dedicated to Gesualdo's memory.  Passion of a different kind was found in the Mass for Double Choir (1922) by Martin. A luminous and intensely personal work kept hidden for forty years, it is one of the summits of a cappella repertoire, fit to stand beside the motets of his idol, J S Bach.
Andrew Griffiths conductor

Back to Top


2012/13 SEASON

beyond the horizon concert image

Beyond the Horizon

Friday 12th July 2013, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
A journey into the unknown ranging from expressive 17th-century madrigals by Weelkes and Wilbye, through exquisite part-songs by Schumann, Brahms and Elgar, to the other-worldly sounds of modern-day composers Richard Rodney Bennett, Thea Musgrave, Steve Martland and Eric Whitacre; it took in the ‘rich and strange’ dream-world of The Tempest , the imaginary sunken city of Vineta, the far north of Thule, and the musings of an astronaut viewing the earth from space. Modes of travel included the London Underground in its anniversary year and the imaginary inventions of a Renaissance genius pondering human flight.  Londinium also gave the first performance of an arrangement of Vaughan Williams' The Vagabond (from 'Songs of Travel') written for the choir by acclaimed young composer Jim Clements.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


revelations concert image

Revelations

Friday 22nd March 2013, St Mary-at-Hill, London
View Programme
A dazzlingly diverse and richly textured programme explored the power of mystical texts, including music by Peter Philips, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Byrd, Tallis, Ned Rorem and, in memory of Jonathan Harvey, The Angels and Come, Holy Ghost. The luscious, Messiaen-tinged Hildegard Triptych by American composer Frank Ferko was performed alongside Hildegard's own O Virtus Sapientiae. Running as a counterpoint throughout the programme were extracts from the Prophetiae Sibyllarum: remarkable, chromatic 16th-century settings by Lassus of the prophecies of the Greek Sibyls. The conclusion was the London première of James MacMillan's Alpha and Omega (2011): the beginning and the end, both celebratory and apocalyptic.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


britten in america concert image

Britten in America

Tuesday 29th January 2013, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
Marking the 2013 Britten centenary, Londinium explored his formative years living in America (1939-1942), with music by American composers - including his two major choral works from those years, A.M.D.G. and Hymn to St Cecilia. The programme included Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning and music by Samuel Barber, Randall Thompson and Charles Ives. Review: ‘A.M.D.G. is, however, a terrific piece if taken on its own terms and one which gives the choir a chance to shine, which Londinium did quite brilliantly. Their performance of the whole work was a tour de force, and it was presented with a confidence, firmness and vividness which was altogether admirable.’ (Robert Hugill, planethugill.com)
Carris Jones mezzo-soprano
Andrew Griffiths conductor
 


toward the dawn concert image

Toward the Dawn: Songs of Night and Light and the Half-Light

Friday 26th October 2012, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
View Programme
A lyrical journey from the half-light of dusk, through the dreams of deepest night, to the radiance of morning. Nightfall can be shadowy (Ligeti's Night, Judith Bingham's Distant Thunder, Tallis's Te Lucis ante Terminum) but also a peaceful sanctuary (Wilbye's Draw on Sweet Night), with rich metaphors of the afterlife (Parry's My Soul there is a Country, Leighton's Evening Hymn). Night itself is the time of dreaming, (Schubert's Nacht und Träume, Howard Skempton's He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven), seductive (Orlando di Lasso's Toutes les nuits) or full of the fears (Elgar's haunting Owls). But soon morning came (Peteris Vasks' evocative Mate Saule), the soft light of day emerged (Monteverdi's Ecco mormorar l'onde), and dawn brought intimations of eternal light (James MacMillan's O Radiant Dawn) and the busy daytime sounds of Ligeti's Morning.
Andrew Griffiths conductor

Back to Top


2011/12 SEASON

Flights of angels concert image

Flights of Angels: Music for the Departing Soul

Tuesday 10th July 2012, St George's Bloomsbury, London
View Programme
Pizzetti's unaccompanied Requiem of 1922 is one of the choral masterpieces of the 20th century, but a rarely heard one. In the year of its 90th anniversary, Londinium performed this operatic, eerie and triumphant work alongside music of lamentation and mourning by Josquin Desprez (Nymphes des Bois), Robert Ramsey (How are the Mighty Fallen), Mendelssohn (Mitten wir im Leben sind), Vaughan Williams (Valiant-for-Truth) and John Tavener (Song for Athene). This concert of expressive, moving and dramatic choral writing for unaccompanied voices traced the journey of the soul from the body to the 'other side', assisted by flights of angels.
Stephen Farr conductor


hidden voices concert image

Hidden Voices: the World of Johannes Brahms

Friday 30th March 2012, St George's Bloomsbury, London; Sunday 13th May 2012, St Augustine One Tree Hill, London
View Programme
Londinium explored Brahms’ choral music – including the exquisite, elusive Fünf Gesänge op.104 and the virtuosic Fest- und Gedenksprüche, together with Ich aber bin elend, Marienlieder and Vineta – alongside music from his personal library, by Gabrieli (Sanctus à 12 from the 1615 'Symphoniae Sacrae'), Eccard (Übers Gebirg Maria geht and Maria wallt zum Heiligtum) and Schütz (Singet dem Herrn from the 1619 'Psalms of David'), and works by Brahms' close friend Robert Schumann (An die Sterne), and his contemporary Peter Cornelius (Requiem "Seele, vergiß sie nicht"). Londinium also performed a new work by Timothy Burke, Distanz und ein bestimmtes Licht ('Distance and a Certain Light'), which was inspired by Fünf Gesänge and written especially for this concert.
Andrew Griffiths conductor


the elements concert image

The Elements: Songs of the Earth, the Air, Fire and Water

Thursday 9th February 2012, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, London
View Programme
The expressive power of the four classical elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – was explored in Londinium’s imaginative concert of contrasting motets and part-songs. Earth is the stony ground of burial, the dust of decay, in the spare melodic lines of Howells’ sombre motet Take him, Earth, for Cherishing; Air is the clear, bright sound of the trumpet in Tippett’s exuberant Dance, Clarion Air; Fire is the tempestuousness of human passion in Lauridsen’s extraordinary and rarely performed Madrigali: Six Fire Songs on Italian Renaissance Poems; and Water is by turns mellifluous (Victoria’s Super flumina babylonis), sonorous (Eric Whitacre’s Water Night) and serene (Stanford’s The Blue Bird, reinterpreted in Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers). The place of the elements in nature was celebrated in Mendelssohn’s exquisite series of part-songs Lieder im Freien zu singen, a charming homage to spring and the beauty of the natural world.
Stephen Farr conductor


fire and ice concert image

Fire and Ice

Tuesday 15th November 2011, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, London
View Programme
In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the death of Tomás Luis de Victoria, Londinium performed one of the greatest achievements of Spanish polyphany, his Officium defunctorum ('Requiem'). In thrilling contrast, sun-drenched Spain was exchanged for the chilly north in music from Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia. Mäntyjärvi's Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae (1997) is a haunting response to the MS Estonia ferry tragedy, combining Psalms and Requiem mass texts with radio accounts of the disaster. Nørgård's Winter Hymn (1984) meditates on the passing of time. Arvo Pärt’s Da pacem Domine (2004) pleads for peace in our time written in his characteristic 'tintinnabuli' (bell-like) style. Finally, Vasks' dazzling Mate Saule (1977) brought the concert full circle, summoning up the figure of Mother Sun 'like eternity – on the threshold'.
Andrew Griffiths conductor

Back to Top


2010/11 SEASON

from darkness into light concert image

From Darkness into Light

Wednesday 29th June 2011, St Mary-le-Bow, London
View Programme
Londinium's concert of reflective choral music completed an emotional musical journey, from the dark wilderness of despair to the life-affirming power of faith. It 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. On the way, 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 the 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, at the Old Vic Tunnels. It is an emotionally charged new work by the composer and sound artist 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 piece is scored for unaccompanied chamber choir, and 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

Pastorale

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

Nightsong

Tuesday 22nd February 2011, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, London
As the evening light faded, Londinium gave 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 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

Back to Top


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

Back to Top


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

Back to top


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


Conductors

Since 2005 Londinium has been conducted by: Andrew Griffiths (current Musical Director), Stephen Farr (former Joint Musical Director), David Lawrence, Madeleine Venner (née Lovell; former Musical Director), Nicholas Jenkins, Brian Gordon (former Musical Director). The following conductors have worked with us in preparation for concerts: Timothy BurkeWill Dawes, Aidan Oliver, James Weeks.