The sublime Missa Papae Marcelli formed the core of two concerts in the first half of 2022. The mass was interspersed with contrasting works by Bach, Antongnini, Mäntyjärvi, Poulenc and Pärt. Michael Waldron directed the first concert in St John's Wimbledon and Stephen Layton the second in a full-to-capacity Temple Church. We were honoured at the second concert to have the composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi himself in the audience.
Further afield the choir made a trip down to Kent to perform in a concert as part of JAM in the Marsh festival, conducted by Nicholas Cleobury . The programme featured an extended work by Paul Patterson, The Fifth Continent, written for brass, organ, soprano soloist and choir. Other works included Walton's Coronation Te Deum, and an ambitious madrigal by Tippet, Dance, Clarion Air. The concert was recorded and can be watched here.
The choir made its now annual liturgical outing to Chichester Cathedral for a series of four services over a weekend in July. It was a great social event as well as a musical one. Michael Waldron directed the choir in four services featuring music by Stanford, Howells, Palistrina, Gibbons, Leighton and Jonathon Dove.
In a new and exciting venture the choir recorded a soundtrack for the upcoming film Kensuke's Kingdom. The music was composed by Stuart Hancock and the recording session was directed by Michael Waldron. The score required some unusual sound effects including the sounds of angry bees, and one scene required some ferociously high and loud soprano singing. The film is to be released in 2023. Listen out!
In October the choir performed an ambitious programme of early 20th century English music, centred around Vaughan-Williams' Mass in G minor, conducted by Stephen Layton. The mass was interspersed with works including Stanford's latin Magnificat and Bax's Mater Ora Filium. The Bax is a highly idiosyncratic piece with complex textures and harmony. The vocal writing is also very demanding, especially for sopranos.
To round off the year the choir performed two Christmas concerts, the first a collaboration with Nicholas Cleobury for the Lord's Taveners Carol Concert with the Stars, and the second with Stephen Layton in St Gabriel's Pimlico.