Saturday 30 August 2014

Choral at Cadogan - 2014/15 season launch

Last night, 28 August, Cadogan Hall launched the 2014/15 Choral at Cadogan series with a short taster from Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars. The group performed three works from the Metamorphosis programme which they will be presenting at Cadogan Hall on 23 October 2014. 

We heard Palestrina's Magnificat for Double Choir, a glorious work in which Palestrina starts out traditionally using the two choirs alternately but eventually varies the groupings of voices to magical effect, Orlando Gibbons' Nunc dimittis from the 'Short' service which is a simple but very effective piece with a fabulous Amen, and finally Arvo Part's Nunc Dimittis, a quietly spare work where Part reserves the climaxes for key moments such as the word 'lumen'.

Before the taster concert, Phillips introduced the season. Normally Choral at Cadogan begins and ends with concerts from the Tallis Scholars (Phillips is the series' artistic director), but this year the BBC Singers and Fretwork, conductor Andrew Carwood, perform a fascinating programme of old and new music including Thea Musgrave and Nico Muhly. There is Gibbon's The Cries of London, which Phillips described as 'great fun', whilst Nico Muhly's piece, My Days is described as an homage to Gibbons. The Tallis Scholars and Peter Phillips' bring their Metamorphosis programme on 23 October, performing the same texts in settings from different traditions, Latin (mainly from Rome), Anglican and Russian Orthodox in a fascinating programme which puts Sheppard, Tavener, Stravinsky and Palestrina together. The Christmas concert is another visit from the choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O'Donnell in a programme of short Christmas and Advent items both old and new, including Poulenc's Christmas motets and Gibbons See, see the Word is incarnate.

Andrew Carwood returns, this time conducting his own group the Cardinall's Musick, with Psalms of David; psalm settings by a wide range of composers including Gabrieli, Palestrina, Victoria, Tomkins, Byrd and Gibbons, plus of course Allegri's Miserere. Phillips said that it was a daring group that sang the Allegri anywhere! Gothic Voices is a group which has not been active very much in the last 10 years, but prior to that they produced a whole series of important performances of early (14th century such) music. Their concert Mary, Star of the Sea (4 March 2015) combines 12th to 15th century pieces (including Dunstaple and plenty of Anon) with Arvo Part, Joanne Metcalf and the premiere of a new piece by Andrew Smith. The Catalan choir, Orfeo Catala will be visiting Cadogan Hall with their conductor josep Vila i Casanas, performing a programme of Catalan music with Enric Granados El cant de les estrelles  (Song of the Stars) along with music by Casals, Toldra, and Montsalvatge. (26/4/2015)

The final concert of the series, Tintinnabuli is given by Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars and celebrates both Arvo Part's 80th birthday and John Sheppard's 500th anniversary. Music includes Part's 'astonishingly witty' Which was the Son of... plus Misereres by Tallis and Allegri (!) Compare and contrast indeed!

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