Tag Archives: Stravinsky

Month in pictures – September and October

We’ve had two very busy months at CLS. Our RE:Imagine concert series got off to a flying start in September with CLoSer: Debussy, Copland and Dance at Village Underground, and continued at Southwark Cathedral with an atmospheric celebration of the music of one of the most romantic cities in the world, in Venice: Darkness to Light. But that’s not all we’ve been up to so far this autumn. Take a look at some of our highlights of the last two months…

CLoSer: Debussy, Copland and Dance saw us return to the intimate setting of Village Underground with a programme exploring music written for dance from Rameau’s 18th century take on the classical Pygmalion myth to Copland’s evocative Appalachian Spring. The concert opened and closed with two brand new dance interpretations of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by choreographer Tony Adigun, one contemporary classical, one urban. Photographer James Berry was on hand to capture the concert as it happened. Take a look at some of his stunning pictures…

Whether you missed the concert, or would just like to relive the evening, you can still watch short highlights on our website.

Our second RE:Imagine concert took us to the magnificent Southwark Cathedral to celebrate one of the world’s most wonderful cities, with Venice: Darkness to Light. Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and countertenor Alex Potter joined us for JS Bach’s re-imagining of Pergolesi’s Stabat MaterTilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, and Latvian composer Ugis Praulins continued our theme of re-imagining the works of Bach, with his arrangement of movements from the Mass in B minor. Here are some lovely photos of rehearsals by James Berry.

On top of all that, it’s been very busy in the education department, as we returned to Suffolk and Essex for our annual Lullaby Concert tour and workshops with Orchestras Live. We also brought a Very Special Bear’s first concert to Warwick, Basingstoke and Saffron Walden with the help of the excellent Simon Callow, who was an absolute natural at conducting! Take a look behind the scenes to see us wrestling with balloons, and a lovely Paddington Bear card made by one of our younger audience members in Basingstoke!

Our RE:Imagine series continues in the new year with The Viennese Salon in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, and our next Crash Bang Wallop! family concert will take place on 12 December. We hope to see you there!

Crash Bang Wallop! Let it Snow
Saturday 12 December 2015, 11.00am
Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London
Tickets: £8 Children, £10 Adults, £30 Family (four tickets)
Box Office: 020 7730 4500 / cadoganhall.com

The Viennese Salon
Sunday 24 January 2016, 2.00pm
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London
Tickets: £62 (premium), £15 – 48, £10 (standing)
Box Office: 020 7401 9919 / shakespearesglobe.com

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Venice: Darkness to Light

Our RE:Imagine season continues this Wednesday with Venice: Darkness to Light at Southwark Cathedral. We’ve put together this playlist as a little guide to the re-imagined sounds of the concert along with the pieces that inspired them.

Following the journey of the concert, first off, we have Bach’s take on two of Italy’s finest 18th Century composers: the first movement of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Bach’s version of it as the cantata Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden; and the first movement of Vivaldi’s violin concerto from L’estro Armonico that Bach re-imagined as a keyboard concerto.

Sticking with Bach, we have the movements from Bach’s Mass in B Minor that Ugis Praulins has re-imagined (you’ll have to come to the concert if you want to hear what Ugis has done with it!). Following the Bach, are John Adams’ orchestral re-imaginings of Liszt’s The Black Gondola and Busoni’s Berceuse Elegiaque, and their piano version originals.

The most intriguing of the re-imaginings, however, is the overture to Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. Stravinsky based his piece on music by Pergolesi… except that it wasn’t by Pergolesi at all. Most of it was by a little known Venetian composer by the name of Domenico Gallo, who was little known because his publishers passed off most of his music as being by Pergolesi, because that way they knew it would sell more copies! Gallo is restored to his rightful place here, next to Stravinsky’s re-imagining.

spotify:user:cityoflondonsinfonia:playlist:4MBlS8ad60WwDc88Grbxn3

Venice: Darkness to Light
Wednesday 14 October 2015, 7.30pm
Southwark Cathedral, London
Tickets £25, £15, £5* (*restricted view)
£5 tickets available for students and 16-25s (pre-register at www.cls.co.uk/cls-fiver) Box Office / 020 7377 1362

RE:IMAGINE – PULCINELLA

With our next RE:Imagine concert which explores the music of Venice just round the corner, we decided to take a look below the surface of this fascinating and beguiling city. We start with the piece that closes our concert, Stravinsky’s re-imagining of Pergolesi’s comedy Pulcinella…

Ballets Russes

In 1919, the great ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev commissioned Stravinsky to create a new work based on music which was believed to be by Pergolesi (it has since transpired that most of it was written by other composers, but published under Pergolesi’s name to sell more copies), including the music for the popular Neapolitan Commedia dell’arte story of Pulcinella, a lecherous, hook-nosed man, always out to deceive others. Stravinsky was at first reluctant to accept the commission having, only seven years before, provoked audiences into riots with his ballet The Rite of Spring, and feeling that this commission was a step away from his more experimental style. However, after studying the scores, Stravinsky found himself drawn to the music and set about rewriting it in his own style, keeping the original melodies, but adding new, modern rhythms and harmonies. Pulcinella opened to great acclaim in 1920 with sets and costumes designed by Pablo Picasso, and it also proved a turning point for Stravinsky, heralding his neo-classical phase, in which he took inspiration from works of the past. He described Pulcinella as “the epiphany through which the whole of my late work became possible”.

Costumes by Pablo Picasso from the 1920 production of Pulcinella
Costumes by Pablo Picasso from the 1920 production of Pulcinella.

Commedia dell’arte

The original story of Pulcinella dates back to the practice of Commedia dell’arte in early 18th century Naples, where Pulcinella represented a poor Neapolitan worker. The Commedia dell’arte actors would dress in stylised costumes and masks and perform highly exaggerated characters in partially improvised scenarios based on current events and scandals; these very ornamented caricatures are thought to have been based on the masks and costumes worn during the Venice carnival. Pulcinella wears a dark mask with a hooked, beak-like nose, speaks in squawks, and is always looking to deceive those around him; which inspired his full name, Pulcinella Cetrulo, meaning ‘stupid little chicken’. He is also frequently seen carrying a stick which he uses on other characters, being beaten by the characters around him, and generally getting up to no good.

Pulcinella

Pulcinella has found himself taking on various forms all over Europe. Stravinsky, as well as his ballet Pulcinella, based his ballet Petrushka on Pulcinella’s Russian counterpart; and it is not hard to see the parallels between this hook-nosed, stick-wielding troublemaker and childhood seaside favourite Mr Punch.

© Jonathan Lucas 2011
© Jonathan Lucas 2011

Stravinsky’s ballet tells the story of Pulcinella and his friends as they chase after women without much success and stage an elaborate ploy to get Pulcinella’s girlfriend Pimpinella to forgive his indiscretions. Their ploy works, and Pulcinella and Pimpinella are reunited, while Pulcinella’s friends finally marry their sweethearts.

Join us at Southwark Cathedral on 14 October and re-imagine the music of Venice, and why not also come along to our wine tasting event with the founder of Amelia’s Wine, Amelia Singer, who has crafted a very special tasting session inspired by the evening’s programme.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Venice: Darkness to Light
Wednesday 14 October 2015, 7.30pm
Southwark Cathedral, London
Tickets £25, £15, £5* (*restricted view)
£5 tickets available for students and 16-25s (pre-register at www.cls.co.uk/cls-fiver) Box Office / 020 7377 1362

Banned and dangerous art: Eisler, Korngold and Stravinsky

Our upcoming concert, From Hollywood to New York, explores the work of various European composers who sought fame, fortune or refuge in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. Several of these composers fled to the New World to escape from wartime Europe, at a time when Nazi Germany began to encroach on the personal and professional lives of millions. Eisler, Korngold and Stravinsky, whose music we perform on 2 May, were publicly denounced by the Third Reich as ‘degenerate music’ (‘Entartete Musik’ in German), a condemnation which had severe affects not only on their career, but also general livelihood.

In this blog, we take a closer look at ‘degenerate music’ and these composers’ associations with the term.

We perform Eisler’s Kleine Sinfonie, Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements and Korngold’s Adventures of Robin Hood Suite at Cadogan Hall on 2 May.

From Hollywood to New York
Saturday 2 May 2015, 7.30pm
Cadogan Hall, London
Tickets from £12 (concessions available)
£5 tickets available for students and 16-25s (pre-register at www.cls.co.uk/cls-fiver) Cadogan Hall Box Office / 020 7730 4500

Piazzolla: The Man and His Music – The Journey towards Tango Nuevo

Last week, we began looking at Astor Piazzolla’s life and history in relation to his émigré background in America. In this Part Two of the series, we track his climb to fame after moving back to Argentina back in 1939 and the creation of his beloved and ever-popular Tango Nuevo

The move to Argentina

In 1937, Astor Piazzolla and his family return to Mar de Plata where tango is very much prominent on the cultural scene. Although Piazzolla finds it difficult to let go of the American jazz that dominated his life over in America, he immerses himself in Argentinean tango and forms a quartet for a while before moving to Buenos Aires to try and get a position in one of the orchestras over there.

Piazzolla lands his dream job

When in Buenos Aires, Piazzolla lands a job as part of the Anibal Troilo orchestra as their bandoneón player, later becoming their arranger. The band was extremely popular in Argentina and his position was a very prestigious one! For Piazzolla, his time as part of the Troilo orchestra was an important one:

‘I learned the tricks of the tangeros, those intuitive tricks that helped me later on. I couldn’t define them technically; they are forms of playing, forms of feeling; it’s something that comes from the inside, spontaneously.’ 

Piazzolla with the Troila Orchestra c.1945 http://www.piazzolla.org/biography/biography-english.html

During this time and shortly after, Piazzolla decides to dedicate his time to composition, studying Bartok, Stravinsky and jazz. During the next few years his music has an odd, yet fantastic fusion of tango and classical.

 

Nadia Boulanger and the return to Classical Music

Constantly adding fugues, counterpoints and eccentric harmonies into his compositions, 5 years later Piazzolla realised that his music was on a different key and decided to focus on Classical music. Following this idea and after winning a scholarship, he moved to Paris to study music with French composer Nadia Boulanger. When Astor begins to learn with Nadia, he is really embarrassed about his non-classical tango past so he initially hides it from her!

Boulanger and Piazzolla c.1955 http://www.piazzolla.org/biography/biography-english.html

The Birth of Nuevo Tango

In 1955, Astor Piazzola returned to Argentina with his family. That year, he formed his orchestra Octeto Buenos Aires. Although the new band did not last for too long, it was very important for the development of Tango Nuevo, challenging the idea of the traditional tango quintet with two bandoneons, two violins, a bass, a cello, a piano and an electric guitar.  This unusual combination of instruments marked the beginning of Tango Nuevo. Fusing together the worlds of classical music, jazz and tango,

Octeto Buenos Aires
Octeto Buenos Aires http://www.verytangostore.com/legends/astor-piazzolla.html

 

Piazzolla’s revolution towards traditional tango sparked some very fierce criticism from many, but he continued to develop the genre with new rhythms, sound efffects, string counterpoint, excellent soloists and an  improvisational electric guitar nonetheless.

 An international star

1958 sees Piazzolla move to America, where his experimentation with Tango Nuevo continues in the form of infusing jazz. Eventually gaining world-wide acclaim across Europe, Japan and America, this new style of tango made Piazzolla a real superstar! This was just the beginning of a very successful, prolific and innovative music career.

Piazzolla c.1995 http://www.piazzolla.org/biography/pics/astorbando.html

In 1960, Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires where his career continued to thrive for several years. He played in magnificent venues, orchestras, and recorded a range of discs. Continuing to compose for the next 10 years and now at the pinnacle of his career, he moves frequently between New York and Buenos Aires , performing in prestigious places such as New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 1985 is named an exceptional citizen of Buenos Aires and sadly dies in 1990, leaving behind more than 1000 works.

 

Join us on Wednesday 25 February as we perform a range of tango music from Piazzolla, Golijov and Bartok with live dancers and a FREE tango taster from 6.45pm. 

CLOSER: To and From Buenos Aires 
Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:30pm
FREE tango taster from 6:45pm 
Village Underground, Shoreditch
Tickets £15 or £5 for students (pre-register at www.cls.co.uk/cls-fiver) available from Spitalfields Music Box Office or via phone on 020 7377 1362.

CLoSer Returns

We asked our outgoing Marketing Intern Anna, to give us her review of the first CLoSer of series two

Last week City of London Sinfonia returned to Village Underground, the unique home of the informal CLoSer concert series, for a second year.

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At a glance the basement venue is an odd choice for a classical music concert, but when colourful cushions, vibrant musicians and an excited audience are added, the venue comes alive! Its prime location in the up and coming Shoreditch area is great for attracting creative locals, but is also an appealing spot to visit for those who live further afield. Our CLoSer audiences consist of a wide range of people, young and old, with mixed levels of musical knowledge and varied experiences of classical music, but who all wish to share their love of music in the informal and relaxed environment that CLoSer provides.

 The programme for this first concert had a distinctly American feel to it and Michael Collins, City of London Sinfonia’s Principal Conductor, delved straight into the Stravinsky Concerto in D with a high level of excited energy. The City of London Sinfonia strings played with a commitment to this energetic and rhythmic concerto, evidenced by the sight of a loose bow hair flying around in the violins. The second movement was beautifully melodic and reminiscent of a romantic ballet, rather than the sacrificial dance that Stravinsky is known for. This came to an abrupt end in the third movement which presented a pulsating rhythm and a mischievous melody in the violins, creating a tense mood and putting me on the edge of my cushion!

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We then welcomed Guest Artists the Katona Twins to the stage to perform Piazzolla’s Hommage à Liège. The Hungarian guitar duo were joined by a dissonant string accompaniment which filled the brick underground with a wonderful resonant sound. The music was intricate and detailed and the pair played with style and apparent ease. At one point the cellos, double bass and guitar duo used their instruments as drums to create a powerful rhythm which built up to an explosive finale which caused excitement to ripple through the room.

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The Twins took centre stage for two further pieces from De Falla’s El Amor Brujo suiteThe Magic Circle and Ritual Fire Dance . These were full of emotion and with the help of the relaxed atmosphere and the close proximity to the guitar duo, the audience were able to connect to the musicians from their own cushioned corner. In quieter moments the music was played with grace and intimacy, and the louder moments were confident and passionate.

As an encore, the twins played Piazzolla’s Autumn in Buenos Aires, joined by a tango dancing couple who highlighted the sensual and smooth character of De Falla’s music with their movement.

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Michael Collins returned for the final piece of the night, to much delight of the audience. The opening of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto was magical, calming and soothing. Michael did a sterling job as both clarinettist and conductor, seamlessly transforming from one role to the other throughout. As always, his playing was flawless and animated and the string players were exceptionally engaging.

The post-concert atmosphere was fantastic with many audience members staying to chat with the musicians, bursting with their thoughts on the evening. The only disappointment is that we’ll have to wait until February for the next one!

Tickets are now on sale for the next two CLoSer concerts on Wednesday 13 February and Wednesday 10 April 2013.

Tickets: £15 (includes one free drink)

CLS FIVER (16-25 year olds): £5 (pre-register with marketing@cls.co.uk)

Box Office: 020 7377 1362/spitalfieldsmusic.org

 

Images: James Berry

Composer Focus: Igor Stravinsky

Ahead of our performance of Stravinsky’s Mass with the Holst Singers at Wednesday’s CLoSer, we profile the composer, one of the most innovative of the twentieth century.

 

Stravinsky

Born on 18 June 1882, the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky spent much of his childhood in St Petersburg, where his father, Fyodor Stravinsky, was a famous bass singer at the Mariinsky Theatre. The young Stravinsky studied law for several years, before switching to study music privately with the celebrated Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1909, he found fame with his composition The Firebird, which Sergei Diaghilev, the director of the Ballets Russes in Paris, encouraged him to transform into a full-length ballet.

In 1910, Stravinsky moved to Paris and was commissioned by Diagilev to write further ballets for the Ballets Russes. Petrushka, set in a Russian fairground, followed The Firebird. Stravinsky’s next ballet, The Rite of Spring, which premiered in Paris on 29 May 1913, received one of the most notorious reactions in the history of classical music, when it was booed and ridiculed by the audience. Fist fights and catcalls greeted the highly unconventional choreography, instrumentation and use of dissonance in the orchestra. The police were called to attempt to quell what quickly became a riot.

Some believe that the scale of the unrest was exaggerated by Dagliev and Stravinsky, who courted controversy and desired to be seen as innovators. However, The Rite of Spring undoubtedly broke new ground in composition. Its story is based on a ‘primitive,’ pagan ceremony, and it contains challenging and stirring rhythms of early pagan Russia. It was to remain Stravinsky’s most famous work, and established his reputation as a premier composer of the twentieth century.

From Paris, Stravinsky, his wife Katerina and young children moved to Switzerland, where they spent the war years, returning in 1920. In this period, Stavinsky began to experiment with the inflections, harmonies and rhythms of jazz, and later, turned to a neo-classical style with, for example, his ballet Pulcinella (1919-1920) and his choral work the Symphony of Psalms (1930).  In the 1930s, he began to develop professional relationships with key figures in American music. Following the worst couple of years of his life (beginning with the death of his eldest daughter Ludmila in 1938, the death of his mother in 1939, and, finally, the death of his wife of thirty three years, Katerina, from tuberculosis also in 1939), Stravinsky decided to move to the United States with Vera de Bosset, with whom he had been having an affair since 1921. They married in 1940.

Stravinsky became a naturalised US citizen in 1945, the third nationality he had taken in his life (after Russian and French). He socialised with a crowd of European intellectuals and artists in Los Angeles, including the British writers W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Dylan Thomas and Aldous Huxley. His Mass was also produced during this time (1944-1948) and is written with a French and Russian-sounding, neo-classical aesthetic. However, after meeting Robert Craft, the musicologist who would go on to live with him as an interpreter, chronicler, and assistant conductor for the rest of his life, he began to be more committed to the use of serial compositional techniques such as dodecaphony, the twelve-tone technique.  This generally characterises his compositions from the mid-1950s, but he was never restricted by the musical forms he chose to use, and remained a highly original and inventive composer for the rest of his life. He died in New York in 1971.

 

Stravinsky_picasso

Stravinsky, as drawn by Picasso

 

Listen to Stravinsky’s Mass on our Spotify playlist

Read our CLoSer FAQs for more information on the concert series.

CLoSer: Spirit of the Voice
Wednesday 29 Feb, 7.30pm
Village Underground

 

Stravinsky’s Mass

The second concert in our innovative, informal series, CLoSer, will focus on the human voice with a performance by CLS and the Holst Singers of Stravinsky’s Mass.

Stravinsky began work on his Mass in 1944, completing the Kyrie and Gloria towards the end of that year. Pausing to work on other projects, he returned to the Mass in 1947, finally completing all the movements in 1948. He rarely wrote non-commissioned music, so is believed by his friend Robert Craft (the American conductor and writer) to have written his Mass out of ‘spiritual necessity.’

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Although he was devoted to the religious content, Stravinsky chose to write a Roman Catholic mass, despite being a member of the Russian Orthodox Church.  His reasons for doing this were practical ones: he was committed to creating a Mass that would be performed in liturgical circumstances, and, given that he disliked the sound of unaccompanied singing, couldn’t write for the Russian Orthodox Church, which forbids any music but the human voice and bells. The Roman Catholic Church permits instrumentation on religious occasions so provided the right vehicle for Stravinsky’s small wind ensemble and four-part choir.

Despite Stravinsky’s desire that the Mass be used liturgically, it has almost always been performed in concert since its first performance at La Scala in Milan in 1948. It remains, however, deeply committed to the affirmation of faith. Although he denied that he was influenced by any particular composer or composition, Stravinsky uses a chanting style of singing that is reminiscent of monastic chant, a style that, despite his tendency to put musical stresses on unstressed words, preserves the text of the mass and connects his work to older Christian musics.

His commitment to the spiritual content is, appropriately, particularly apparent in the Credo, about which Stravinsky is quoted by Robert Craft as saying “One composes a march to facilitate marching men, so with my Credo I hope to provide an aid to the text. The Credo is the longest movement. There is much to believe.” 

 Listen to Stravinsky’s Mass on our Spotify playlist

 

CLoSer: Spirit of the Voice
Wednesday 29 Feb, 7.30pm
Village Underground

CLoSer Interview: Holst Singers

We caught up with Will Davies from the Holst Singers, our Guest Artists at our next CLoSer concert, to find out more about this extraordinary choir.

Holst Singers, what are the origins of the choir and its name?
We were founded in 1978 under Hilary Davan Wetton, but for almost two decades have been conducted by our Musical Director Stephen Layton, who has shaped and nurtured the celebrated sound we make. I believe our name was actually taken from the Holst Room at St Paul’s Girls’ School where we originally rehearsed in the early days – so I guess we are named after the composer, but not directly!

How many singers in the choir? What’s the average profile of a Holstie? (if there is such a thing!)
We have a core of about 40 singers who are the ‘regulars’, who you’ll catch performing at most concerts. I’m not sure there is an ‘average’ Holstie! I suppose most of us are graduates with a chapel choir background, so Oxford and Cambridge feature fairly heavily in the choir’s make-up. Outside of that, we’re a very varied bunch, a whole range of ages and occupations. Without wanting to sound too cheesy, the thing that unites us all is music. I think we’re in a unique position as an institution– we’re one of the nation’s top-flight choirs, but we work entirely as a self-run amateur outfit, with no subscription fees or anything like that. It means that everyone involved is there to concentrate on the music-making; it works really well for us.

What is it like working with CLS Artistic Director Stephen Layton?
In short, truly inspiring. He’s one of the world’s greatest choral conductors, and it shows. He always seems to know exactly what he wants to achieve with the music, from the broad sweep of a piece to the subtle nuances. What’s great is that he knows how to get us to produce the performance he wants; he works us hard, but it’s always worth it for the end result.

The_holst_singers_web

What’s the range of the choir’s repertoire? Do you enjoy performing newly-commissioned work, or prefer more established repertoire?
We love getting our teeth into a wide range of repertoire. I suppose we have a reputation for performing works in the very loose category of ‘unjustly neglected a cappella gems’ – works by Baltic composers like Tormis and Ešenvalds for instance, or the Russian Orthodox music on our Ikon recordings. We’re also actively involved in performing new commissions, from premiering Tavener’s Veil of the Temple to working with Imogen Heap on her soundtrack to The Seashell and the Clergyman.

Talk us through the pieces you’re performing for CLoSer.
We’re performing two pieces, Stravinsky’s Mass and Immortal Bach by Knut Nystedt. The Stravinsky is a great work. It’s quite severe, almost bleak at times, but beautiful with it. It’s scored for choir and a fairly small wind ensemble, and you get these wonderful moments of sparse, dissonant instrumental writing with the choir almost chanting the text, especially in the Credo. That’s probably the most challenging movement for us – not because it’s particularly difficult musically, but because he treats the text in a really counterintuitive way. Instead of setting it in the ‘usual’ way (accented and inflected as one might speak it, with expression) he produces a sort of muttering mantra; it’s this kind of ‘march of belief’, which is surprisingly tricky to get your head around at first.

Immortal Bach is really interesting – Nystedt takes the first two lines of the chorale Komm, süßer Tod and deconstructs them. You hear the unadulterated chorale first and then you hear it transformed, by dividing the choir into separate groups who sing each phrase of the chorale at different speeds, coming together at the cadence points before continuing onwards. It’s a bit tricky to explain without a choir on hand to demonstrate, but it’s very effective – the result is this fantastic smeary collage of Bach.

What do you hope the audience take away from your performance on 29 February?
I hope they get an impression of how the human voice can speak powerfully to you, in unexpected ways. I think the thing that connects the music we’ll be performing is that neither piece uses voices conventionally, to wring emotion from words or to make you say, “Oh, what a lovely tune”. The Nystedt is in a sense just the application of a simple mathematical rubric to a Bach chorale, and the Stravinsky is ascetic, austere music; and yet both produce this captivating atmosphere.

What would the Holst Singers desert island discs be and why?
Ah, now this is going be tricky. I’d have trouble enough doing my own, letting alone trying to speak for the whole choir – I’m inevitably going to get lynched when they see this! “How could you miss out Spem in alium?!” Ah well, here goes…
I think we need something early in there. Let’s have Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, because it’s pretty damn fit, especially the way the Kyrie kicks off; I could listen to that soaring-and-descending motif go round and round all day. It would be rude not to have anything Slavic on the island, let’s cram the Rachmaninov Vespers in the bag too. Last one… we need something English in there too. This’ll be a controversial one, but let’s go for the Vaughan Williams Shakespeare Songs. The middle movement is the sexiest thing ever. Wait. We get a full set of sheet music for these on the island too, right?!

CLoSer: Spirit of the Voice
Weds 29 February, 7.30pm
Village Underground, Shoreditch

Poulenc Suite Francaise
JS Bach French Suite
Poulenc Le Bal Masque
Nystedt Immortal Bach
Stravinsky Mass