Saturday, 23 November 2013

Christmas Festival at St John's Smith Square

St John's Smith Square
The Christmas Festival at St. John's Smith Square is now an established event and this year's is the 28th. This year we have Christmas music familiar and unfamiliar from Schutz, Bach, Victoria, Guerrero, Cipriano de Rore, Lassus and John Rutter. Performers include a fine array of college choirs with the choir of Kings College, London, the choirs of Clare College and of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Christ Church Cathedral choir, Oxford. Plus Oxford Baroque, the Brabant Ensemble, the Cardinall's Musick, the Tallis Scholars, Polyphony and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.


The Choir of King's College London, director David Trendall, performs a programme centred around Schutz's A Christmas Story. The choir is a mixed-voice ensemble and they sing weekly services in the College Chapel. (13/12). Oxford Baroque, director Jeremy Summerly, returns to the festival with a performance of Bach's Magnificat WV 243a, (complete with Christmas interpolations). The magnificat was written for Christmas Day Vespers of 1723 and the ensemble will also be performing the chant propers, hymn and polyphony which would have featured in the service (14/12).

St John's Smith Square, Christmas FestivalEx Cathedra, director Jeffrey Skidmore, are performing traditional Christmas music by candlelight (16/12). Whilst the choir of Clare College, Cambridge, director Graham Ross will be premiering a new work by John Rutter, plus Advent music by Byrd, Howells, Roderick Williams and Mendelssohn (17/12). Stephen Darlington and Christ Church Cathedral Choir perform a programme of carols (18/12). The Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips are celebrating the Virgin Mary with Victoria's Missa Gaudeamus and Ave Maria a 8 plus music by Guerrero, Bruckner and Verdelot (19/12). The Cardinall's Music, director Andrew Carwood mix old and new with music by Victoria, Palestrina, Poulenc and Tippett (his wonderful Plebs Angelica) in a programme devoted to Angels and Archangels (20/12).

The Brabant Ensemble, director Stephen Rice, bring a programme of Renaissance polyphony including music by Lassus, Cipriano da Rore, Victoria and Clemens Non Papa (21/12). Bach's Christmas Oratorio is performed by the choir of Trinity College Cambridge, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Stephen Layton, with soloists Katherine Watson, Iestyn Davies, James Gilchrist and Neal Davies. (22/12). The same conductor, orchestra and soloists will be joined by the choir Polyphony for their annual performance of Handel's Messiah (23/12)

Further information and tickets from the St John's Smith Square website.

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