The Tallis Scholars and Artistic Director Peter Phillips open and close the series with programmes exploring rarely performed repertoire contained in the Eton Choirbook and the great set of Vespers by Sergei Rachmaninov;
Voices New Zealand and Director Karen Grylls perform a programme of Voices of Aotearoa featuring Maori musician and composer Horomona Horo;
The Choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor perform a programme of works which celebrate Advent and the coming of the Messiah;
The Sixteen and Harry Christophers return to Cadogan Hall for an evening of carols and seasonal choral music;
The Gesualdo Six perform a programme of some of the finest consort works from renaissance and modern-day composers; VOCES8 present Sing Joyfully, a programme with music from the renaissance to Jazz and Pop
Cadogan Hall presents its eleventh Choral at Cadogan series which returns from October 2018 to May 2019. Across the series, renowned vocal ensembles including The Tallis Scholars, Voices New Zealand, The Sixteen, The Gesualdo Six and VOCES8 give eight concerts exploring a range of repertoire spanning the renaissance to the present day. The series concludes with a very rare opportunity to hear The Tallis Scholars sing the most romantic music there is: Rachmaninov’s Vespers. This series also welcomes The Choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor who recently performed for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at their wedding: they present a thoughtful advent programme to begin the festive season. This year, for the first time, the series is delighted to lend its support to a charity, The Muze Trust, whose aim is to ensure that children in disadvantaged communities in Zambia have access to music education at the most basic level, including the provision of instruments.
The Tallis Scholars and Artistic Director Peter Phillips open the series on 2 October 2018 with a programme which showcases the dazzling music of the Eton Choirbook. The iconic music manuscript, at two feet tall and over three feet long, features a collection of English sacred music composed by ninety-three different composers during the late 15th century, including John Browne’s uniquely moving Stabat Mater. Taverner’s 6-voice Magnificat is also performed, as well as Sheppard’s only known votive antiphon: Gaude virgo christipera. The programme also includes pieces by Cornysh from the Eton Choirbook, alongside Tallis’ beautifully effective Te Deum.
On 29 October 2018, Voices New Zealand directed by Karen Grylls perform at Cadogan Hall as part of their 20th anniversary tour of Europe. The choir performs their hallmark programme, Voices of Aotearoa, which infuses the qualities of the ensemble’s pacific origins with western choral repertoire. Sound worlds from opposite sides of the globe collide in an exhilarating performance which also features Mãori musician and composer Horomona Horo performing on a range of Taonga Puoro: traditional Mãori instruments. The diverse programme includes: David Child’s Salve Regina, Mark Sirett’s Ce beau Printemps, Samuel Barber’s To be sung on the water and Eric Whitacre’s Lux Arumque.
The Choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor directed by James Vivian perform on 3 December 2018, accompanied on the organ by Luke Bond. The programme includes works which celebrate Advent and the coming of the Messiah including: the dramatic and impassioned opening processional, Laudes Regiae and the emotionally charged Bogotóditse Djévo. The choir was founded in 1348 and apart from the Commonwealth period (1649-60), they have sung the services continuously since then. They sing regularly in the presence of the Queen and other members of the Royal family, and most notably, sang for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2018.
As part of their Christmas tour, The Sixteen present ‘The Little Child’, a feast of carols and seasonal choral music on 17 & 18 December 2018, with conductor Harry Christophers. The programme includes traditional favourites: The Saviour’s Work, Down in yon forest and It came upon a midnight clear. The concert also features works such as: Sweelinck’s Hodie Christus natus est, Walton’s All this time, Leighton’s Coventry Carol, Palestrina’s A solis ortu cardine, Byrd’s Lullaby my sweet little babe and Warlock’s Benedicamus Domino, as well as many other stunningly beautiful Tudor and renaissance works and modern settings.
Vocal consort The Gesualdo Six and director Owain Park perform as part of the series on 7 March 2019, with a programme which juxtaposes Tallis with Talbot and Tormis, in an exhibition of some of the finest consort works from renaissance and modern-day composers. The ensemble perform a selection of works from Tallis’ Te lucis ante terminum to Talbot’s The Wishing Tree and Rimkus’ My Heart is Like a Singing Bird, as well as Folk Songs from the British Isles. The Gesualdo Six recognise the importance of teaching and outreach projects and in 2016 The Gesualdo Six curated its first Composition Competition. The winning composition of the second composition competition is also premiered as part of the performance.
On 4 April 2019, award-winning a cappella octet VOCES8 present Sing Joyfully; a programme that celebrates the joy and beauty of voices in harmony. The diverse programme explores music from the renaissance to jazz and pop. Sacred music from Byrd, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov is followed by English and Italian madrigals, as well as Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia. In Beauty May I Walk is also performed, a work from the current Composer-in-Residence Jonathan Dove. This concert combines ethereal and angelic voices with VOCES8 renowned stage presence.
The Tallis Scholars once again close the series on 15 May 2019 with a rare performance of the great set of Vespers by Sergei Rachmaninov. The work may typically not be associated with the style of The Tallis Scholars, but it is wrong to assume that there is only one way of performing a masterpiece. The piece is performed alongside Tavener’s Funeral lkos, The Lamb, The Lord’s Prayer and Rachmaninov’s The Lord’s Prayer.