7.00pm, Tuesday 31 October 2023
Our Lady of Victories, 235a Kensington High Street, London W8 6SF
Our opening concert of the season features Duruflé’s sublime Requiem, and as well as the luminous choral writing, will showcase Our Lady of Victories’ glorious new Grand Organ. The rest of the programme includes music by Messiaen, his celebrated O sacrum convivium, Poulenc’s heartfelt Salve Regina, and sumptuous motets by Villette. Completing the programme, our organist Richard Pinel will showcase the Skrabl Grand Organ with solos by Langlais.
Programme: Duruflé Requiem | Villette Tu es Petrus; Three motets | Poulenc Salve Regina | Alain Chanson à bouche fermée | Messiaen O sacrum convivium
7.30pm, Tuesday 11 July 2023
St Mary Aldermary, Watling Street, London EC4M 9BW
Stephen Jones conductor, harpsichord
City Chamber Choir commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of of one of England’s greatest composers, William Byrd (c.1540–1623), with a programme built around works by the master himself and pieces by composers who influenced or were influenced by him.
Byrd’s teacher at the Chapel Royal, Thomas Tallis, provides four short works, including Why fum’th in sight, better known as the tune used by Vaughan Williams in his Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis. Byrd’s pupils, Weelkes and Tomkins are also represented, together with two modern composers who demonstrate that Byrd’s influence lives on. The well known singer and composer Roderick Williams ‘reimagines’ Byrd’s Ave verum for modern times and Huw Watkins provides a haunting setting of Shakespeare’s allegory The Phoenix and the turtle in which the ‘bird of loudest lay’ is thought to refer to William Byrd himself.
Programme: • Byrd: Ave Verum | Sing we merrily; Blow up the trumpet | Make we joy to God | Come woeful Orpheus | Retire my soul · Roderick Williams: Ave Verum reimagined · Huw Watkins: The Phoenix and the turtle · Tallis: Why fum’th in sight | If ye love me | A new commandment | O Lord give thy Holy Spirit · Weelkes: O Lord grant the King a long life | O care thou wilt despatch me · Tomkins: O God the proud are risen | Too much I once lamented. · With harpsichord solos.
6.00pm, Sunday 23 April 2023
All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard LU7 1AE
Stephen Jones conductor | Ivan Linford organ
We are delighted to be going ‘out of town’ to sing Evensong in the beautiful and historic parish church of Leighton Buzzard. Fittingly, on St George’s Day, the music focuses on British composers.
Introit Vaughan Williams: O taste and see
Canticles Howells in G
Anthem Mundy: O Lord the maker of all thing
Da Vinci Requiem
7.30 pm, Tuesday 21 March 2023
Holy Sepulchre London, Holborn Viaduct EC1A 2DQ
Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra
Stephen Jones conductor | Tamsin Raitt Soprano | Thomas Isherwood Baritone | Tom Jesty piano
We are delighted to be returning to the splendid and spacious National Musicians’ Church, Holy Sepulchre London, for our spring programme
of British music.
The solemn and moving Songs of Farewell by Parry represent a pinnacle of choral writing from the early twentieth century, a fact reflected in the use of one of its pieces at the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Bringing us right up to date is the 2019 Da Vinci Requiem. This significant seven-movement work from City Chamber Choir’s President Cecilia McDowall presents an imaginative pairing of extracts from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci with texts from the Latin Missa pro defunctis. Da Vinci’s reflective and penetrating insights into the nature of mortality and all that it encompasses cast new light on the familiar Requiem texts. Sure to become a classic, the work is powerful and mysterious, and reflects the composer’s longstanding interest in Leonardo. It is also full of gorgeous melodies and harmonies.
Gerald Finzi’s serene Eclogue for piano and strings completes the programme.
The City Chamber Choir Christmas Concert
7.00pm, Tuesday 13 December 2022
Voces8 Centre, St Anne and St Agnes Church, Gresham Street, London EC2V 7BX
Stephen Jones conductor| Ivan Linford organ
City Chamber Choir takes you on a magical journey through the Christmas story, with a mixture of much-loved familiar carols and music that’s right up to date, including the winner of last year’s BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition by Tamiko Dooley and a piece by our President, Cecilia McDowall. There’s an opportunity to hear some seasonal readings as well as the usual wine and mince-pie fuelled join-in-able audience participation items.
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols | Pott Balulalow | Tamiko Dooley Love came down at Christmas | Bob Chilcott Remember O thou man; Rise up shepherd | Ravenscroft Remember O thou man | Howells Here is the little door | Warlock Bethlehem Down | Britten Hymn to the virgin | Cecilia McDowall Now may we singen | Paul Ayres Unto us is born a Son
With readings, and carols for choir and audience.
During the reign of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I it was illegal to celebrate the Roman Catholic Mass, so when Byrd had his three mass settings printed in the 1590s, he made sure that they were in a small and easily concealable format. The Mass for Four Voices would therefore have been used in a private setting, among recusant families who risked arrest if their proceedings were discovered. We also study Byrd’s heartfelt full anthem O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth written for the queen whose passionate love of music perhaps enabled her to turn a blind eye to Byrd’s recusancy. Videte Miraculum, by Tallis is a sublime and hypnotic responsory for Candlemas. It builds a sensuous six-part texture on plainsong themes.
Choral Workshop on Byrd and Tallis
Saturday 28 January 2023
St Mary-at-Hill, Lovat Lane, London EC3R 8EE
Stephen Jones Workshop leader and director of City Chamber Choir
Tom Jesty Accompanist
Mass for Four Voices
O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth
City Chamber Choir, the friendly group that rehearses and performs in the heart of the City of London, invites you to take part in this workshop on key works from the English Renaissance: William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices and anthem O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth, and Thomas Tallis’s Videte Miraculum.
The workshop is led by City Chamber Choir’s Music Director, Stephen Jones, who has a wealth of experience in all aspects of choral singing, as conductor, singer and accompanist. As well as putting the works into their historical context, he will give you many valuable insights into vocal technique, ensemble singing and tuning.
Our study day ends with an informal sing through at 4.00 pm (open to all – please do invite your friends). If you are an enthusiastic amateur singer, who would like to explore these choral masterpieces, brush up on singing technique and find out about the historical and musical context of important Tudor works during the course of an enjoyable day, then this is for you.
Iberia and beyond
Music from Spain, Portugal and the Americas
7.00pm, Tuesday 18 October 2022
St Mary-at-Hill, Lovat Lane, London EC3R 8EE
Stephen Jones conductor | Nigel Woodhouse guitar | Forbes Henderson guitar | Luke Bainbridge percussion | Tom Jesty keyboard
For the opening concert of our season we are delighted to be joined by an instrumental ensemble of guitars, percussion and keyboard. Our programme contrasts the austere beauty of church music written by masters of polyphony in sixteenth-century Lisbon, with a heady mix of twentieth century classics from Latin America and Spain, including Ramirez’s charming and tuneful folk mass and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s wonderfully atmospheric settings of poems by Lorca. Completing the mix is Piazzola’s celebrated Libertango and Ericsson’s exploration of Salve Regina, subtitled ‘to the mothers in Brazil’, which brings us full circle to Lisbon once more, and Francisco Guerrero’s passionate setting of the same text.
Ramirez Misa Criolla | Magalhães Asperges me| Duarte Lobo Pater peccavi | C. de Morales Tu es Petrus | F. Guerrero Salve Regina II | Ericsson Salve Regina – to the mothers in Brazil | Piazzolla Libertango | Castelnuovo-Tedesco Romancero Gitano
With guitar and keyboard solos
Journeyings A choral voyage of discovery
7.30pm, Tuesday 12 July 2022
Carpenters’ Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2JJ
A choral voyage of discovery bringing together varied music (including piano and violin solos) from across the centuries, to create a fascinating programme with something for everyone to enjoy.
City Chamber Choir’s concert in the beautiful surroundings of Carpenters’ Hall, explores journeys both physical and spiritual. The choir is honoured to be giving the first performance of a new work by its award-winning President, Cecilia McDowall. Commissioned by Geoffrey Smeed for CCC and its conductor Stephen Jones, Good news from New England, for choir and solo violin, is inspired by the Mayflower voyage and draws on the journal of William Bradford, the leader of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts for its text.
McDowall Good news from New England | Mathias Full fathom five | Hughes Three swans | Jackson A ship with unfurled sails | Clarke My spirit like a charmed bark doth float | Grainger Shallow Brown | Lauridsen Sure on this shining night | Whitacre The seal lullaby Gibbons The silver swan | Chilcott Even such is time | Weelkes Thule, the period of cosmography; The Andalusian merchant | Vaughan Williams Valiant for truth
This concert is in support of the Carpenters’ Company Charitable Trust.
Concert in aid of Ukraine
Rachmaninov Vespers (All-Night Vigil) Op. 37
7.30pm, Tuesday 10 May 2022
St Catherine’s Church, Telegraph Hill, Hatcham SE14 5SG
The fifteen movements of Rachmaninov’s Vespers were written in the space of just two weeks, in 1915. The composer drew on the a cappella tradition of Orthodox church music, weaving authentic Russian and Ukrainian chants into nine of the movements and creating his own ‘conscious counterfeits’ in the others.
Join the award-winning City Chamber Choir for a performance of this moving and uplifting twentieth-century masterpiece.
This concert is in support of the Disaster Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil Op. 37
7.00 pm, Tuesday. 22 March 2022
St Katharine Cree, 86 Leadenhall Street London EC3A 3BP
Stephen Jones conductor
‘Even in my dreams I could not have imagined that I would write such a work.’
Sergei Rachmaninov, after the first performance
The fifteen movements of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil were written in the space of just two weeks, in 1915. The composer drew on the a cappella tradition of Russian Orthodox church music, weaving authentic chants into nine of the movements and creating his own ‘conscious counterfeits’ in the others.
Join the award-winning City Chamber Choir for a performance of this moving and uplifting twentieth-century masterpiece in the beautiful surroundings of the church of St Katharine Cree.
We are delighted that at this concert, through the generosity of our audience’s donations to a retiring collection, we raised well over £300 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Workshop on Rachmaninov: All Night Vigil (Vespers) Op. 37
Saturday 5 March 2022
St Mary-at-Hill, Lovat Lane, Eastcheap
London EC3R 8EE
Stephen Jones Workshop leader and director of City Chamber Choir
Philip Shannon Accompanist
If you are an enthusiastic amateur singer, who would like to explore this a cappella masterpiece, brush up on singing technique and find out about the historical and musical context of the All-Night Vigil during the course of an enjoyable day, then this is for you.
10.00am Doors open for registration, coffee and music distribution
10.30am–12.30pm Workshop session 1
12.30pm–1.30pm Lunch (own arrangements)
1.30 pm–3.30 pm Workshop session 2
3.30pm–4.00pm Tea and cake
4.00 pm Informal sing-through
You can download a brochure with all the information you need about this workshop here.