Category Archives: Ensemble

Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

Saturday 14 October 2017
Pamoja Hall   7.30pm

With Vivace and The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble

Director of Music: Robin Walker

Poster for Cantate Choir's October 2017 performance of Monteverdi Vespers with Vivaci! and The English Cornett & Sackbut EnsembleBorn in Cremona, Monteverdi was a composer and court musician particularly known for books of madrigals and operas. His work transitions from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque melody including pioneering techniques such as bass continuo. The Vesperis in Festis Beata Mariae Vergine, more casually known as the Vespers of 1610, was his first sacred work in nearly 30 years reflecting a blend of both styles. In scale it represents one of the most ambitious works of religious music written before Bach.  It is a large, complex and ground-breaking piece noted for its brilliance and power.

Special guest soloists will perform with The Cantate Choir and we will be joined by Vivace and The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble for what promises to be a wonderful evening.

Tickets cost £15. (concessions £7.50 U18s)

For more information and a link to book tickets, go to http://www.thespacesevenoaks.co.uk/whats-on/music/

 

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    Gala Concert – Handel’s ‘Messiah’

    23rd January 2016
    Pamoja Hall – Sevenoaks School

    Poster for the Handel's Messiah concert in January 2016

    Programme

    Handel’s Messiah

    The Cantate Choir with orchestra ‘Vivace!’ and internationally renowned soloists gave a gala charity performance of this most wonderful of Oratorios to raise money for The Hospice in the Weald.

    Choir, orchestra and soloists performing the Hallelujah chorus in Handel's Messiah

    The Cantate Choir raised over £10,000 for Hospice in the Weald through it’s Gala Charity Concert on 23rd January 2016. This organisation provides the most outstanding palliative care to the terminally ill, and is heavily reliant on the generosity of the public, local businesses and organisations. Our guest of honour, Lord Sackville, introduced the concert.

    The choir performed Handel’s masterpiece under the baton of Robin Walker accompanied by orchestra ‘Vivace!’ who played on period instruments. Cantate also welcomed internationally renowned soloists: soprano Gillian Keith, counter tenor Francesco Ghelardini, tenor Tom Randle and bass Trevor Eliot Bowes.

    Soloists

    Conductor – Robin Walker
    Leader – Hazel Brooks

    Soprano – Gillian Keith
    Counter-tenor – Francesco Ghelardini
    Tenor – Tom Randle
    Bass – Trevor Eliot Bowes

    Programme notes

    Programme notes by Sarah Kelmsley

    Review

    Review by Graeme Fife

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      Mardi Brass

      Mardi Brass performed with the choir in their Christmas concert in December 2014

      Mardi Brass, brass quintetMardi Brass is a versatile and dynamic brass quintet which performs music in a plethora of musical styles spanning six centuries. Since its founding in 1992, the group has performed throughout Britain, thrilling audiences with its blend of music and humour.

      Mardi Brass has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and made an appearance on BBC2’s Edinburgh Nights, playing for the Perrier Comedy Award presentation. Other broadcasts have included In Tune on BBC Radio 3, a cameo appearance on BBC1’s Panorama and numerous features on local radio stations. In 1993 Mardi Brass took part in ClassicFM’s first birthday celebrations. The group has performed at prestigious venues such as the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank and has undertaken several tours of Britain and the Channel Islands.

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        His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts

        His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts joined the Cantate Choir for its Spem in Alium concert in March 2014

        Patron: Sir John Eliot Gardiner

        His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts

        His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts

        Having celebrated its 30th birthday in 2012, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts (“the pre-eminent group of its kind” born 1982) continues in the same spirit as always: aiming to bring the sound of its noble instruments, through pan-European repertoire from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 21st century, attracting new audiences via recordings, radio, television and (best of the lot!) live performance.

        The group’s illustrious-sounding name is taken from Matthew Locke’s “five-part things for His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts” that were probably played during the coronation celebrations for King Charles II in 1661. Essentially a recital group comprising two cornetts, three sagbutts and chamber organ/harpsichord, HMSC often joins with singers and string players, and is frequently asked to take part in projects with choirs: Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, the BBC Singers, Ex Cathedra, the choirs of Trinity, King’s and St John’s Colleges, Cambridge, as well as those of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals, London.

        Activities over the group’s thiry year history have been diverse, ranging from sound and vision recordings for the BBC comedy The Two Ronnies, to appearances in the Salzburg Festival, St. Mark’s, Venice, the Sydney Opera House and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.

        Individual members of HMSC teach at conservatoires and universities throughout the UK and Europe and the group is often invited to give masterclasses and workshops as a part of its educational activities.

        His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts has more than twenty recordings to its credit, among them A Bach Album (Hyperion) which was honoured “recording of the year” in Gramophone Magazine, December 2002; and 2007 marked the launch of the group’s own recording label, sfzmusic. HMSC’s first recording with this new and exciting label, to most encouraging critical acclaim, was the complete instrumental works of Giovanni Battista Grillo; The Twelve Days of Christmas, Buccaneer, an Anglo-Spanish celebration, and Canzone per sonare, a collection of music by Giovanni Gabrieli and his contemporaries, have since followed. For His Majestys Pleasure, a 65 minute opera without words by the English composer Martyn Harry, was released in 2012.

        In 2012 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts celebrated the life and inspirational work of Giovanni Gabrieli (died 1612) in a unique collaboration with Concerto Palatino and Ex Cathedra. This was marked with a new recording on Hyperion as well as performances in England and Germany and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

        As a true and lasting celebration of HMSC’s first 30 years, For His Majestys Pleasure is the group’s first ever commission from a living composer, made possible by funding from the Performing Rights Society (UK). University of Oxford-based composer, Martyn Harry, has written this full-length work (c.65 minutes) for the group and playing it is, to quote founder member Jeremy West, “the most exciting single project that His Majestys has undertaken in its 30 year history”.

        For further information on His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, visit their website.

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          Sweelinck Ensemble

          The Cantate Choir performed with the Sweelinck Ensemble during its Renaissance Revealed concert, a concert of Italian Renaissance music and images in March 2005.

          Sweelinck Ensemble

          Sweelinck Ensemble, performing with Cantate Choir in their Renaissance Revealed concert in March 2005
          The Sweelinck Ensemble aims to recreate the vibrant musical life of the seventeenth century through performing music of the highest quality, with a particular emphasis on German and Italian repertoire. To facilitate the many various types of music in this period the group is flexible, using voices and instruments of all types according to the area of repertoire performed.

          Founded by Martin Knizia the ensemble was a finalist in the 1999 York Early Music Network Competition. It has since appeared at major venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’ Piccadilly, the Brompton Oratory, and as a regular performer at the London Bach Festival. The ensemble broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and throughout Europe on Euroclassic Notturno.

          For Renaissance Revealed the ensemble will play with the Cantate Choir, and also in various combinations alone. They will perform music from the early seventeenth century by Giovanni Battista, Dario Castello, and Giovanni Picchi. For this concert the group comprises two violins, cornet and trombones, chiterone and organ.

          The Sweelinck Ensemble’s first CD, the First Book of Sonatas by Dario Castello, is due to be released in spring 2005.

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            London Pro Arte Orchestra & London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra

            The Cantate Choir perfomed with the London Pro Arte Orchestra and London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra during the Magnificat concert as part of the Tudely Festival in January 2003.

            London ProArte Orchestra

            London Pro Arte Orchestra

            Originally founded in 1985 as the Orchestra of St James, the London Pro Arte Orchestra is now in its fourteenth Season. Murray Stewart became Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in 1985, and since that time the Orchestra has given over 100 concerts both at home and abroad. The Orchestra made its South Bank debut in 1986, appearing at St John’s, Smith Square the following year. It appears regularly in all of London’s major Concert Halls, making its Barbican debut in 1995, as well as the Fairfield Hall in Croydon. The Orchestra has regularly appeared at the Colston Hall in Bristol.

            The London Pro Arte Orchestra has toured abroad in France and Denmark, being invited to give the opening concert at the Vendsyssel Festival, when it broadcast on Danish Radio. The London Pro Arte Brass Ensemble (one of three associated Ensembles of the Orchestra) has since returned to Denmark, recording once again for Danish Radio.

            A number of distinguished soloists have appeared with the Orchestra, including the late Manoug Parikian, Erich Gruenberg, Peter Katin, Marie-Louise Langlais, Peter Katin and Tim Hugh. The London Pro Arte Orchestra has appeared in three South Bank Festivals, Beethoven Plus, the French Bicentenary Festival, and the Szymanowski Festival. It also gave the UK Premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Iron Age Suite in the presence of the composer.

            London Pro Arte Orchestra

            Having made its Royal Festival Hall debut in 1991, the London Pro Arte Orchestra took part in the Herbert Howells Centenary Concert the following year, when it gave the London Premiere of Howell’s Sine Nomine. The Orchestra has since returned to the Festival Hall to give a performance of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Finchley Children’s Music Group.

            The London Pro Arte Orchestra has a commitment to premiering contemporary works. It has given London Premieres of works by Paul Patterson and Piers Hellawell, as well as premiering several works by Jean Langlais at the South Bank. The Orchestra gave the UK Premiere of Naji Hakim’s Organ Concerto, and the World Premiere of Robert Walker’s Mele Livida. Two more Premieres will be given this Season, the Oboe Concerto by Kenneth Leighton, and Naji Hakim’s Violin Concerto. The Orchestra’s first CD, of works by Jean Langlais, was released in 1998 by Koch International. The London Pro Arte Orchestra also made the premiere recording of Richard Maunder’s edition of the Mozart Requiem, in its entirety, and on modern instruments.

            In 1997 the Orchestra began a Residency at the People’s Palace Concert Hall, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London. Last Season the Orchestra appeared as part of the International Orchestral Concert Series at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon. It has also appeared at the Henley Festival and in open air Concerts at Portchester Castle and Tredegar House, as well as the 650th Anniversary celebrations at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The Orchestra has twice appeared at ‘Music in the Air’ in Hampshire, playing before its largest audience ever of ten thousand people on both occasions. Future concerts this Season include St John’s, Smith Square, St Martin in the Fields and St Giles’, Cripplegate in London. A return visit to ‘Music in the Air’ will be made in 2003.

            London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra

            An associated ensemble of the London Pro Arte Orchestra (founded in 1989), the London Pro Arte Baroque Orchestra, formed in 1995, brings together some of the finest young musicians specialising in playing period instruments.

            The Orchestra made its London debut at St John’s, Smith Square in November 1995, and has since concentrated its activities around the major choral works of J S Bach. This has included acclaimed performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor in France.

            Members of the orchestra play in some of the most prestigious Orchestras and Ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Concert, the London Classical Players and Floregium, under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington and Christopher Hogwood. Between them, members of the Orchestra have taken part in many recent and highly praised recordings of renaissance, baroque and classical music.

            The Orchestra appears regularly at the London venues of St John’s, Smith Square and at St Martin in the Fields. Last Season’s highlights included performances of Bach’s Easter Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah at St John’s, Smith Square, as well as a Bach programme at the Henley Festival. This Season the Orchestra performs Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the East London Chorus at St John’s, and later gives a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor. Tours to both France and Denmark are planned for the end of the Season in the summer of 2003.

            Further details can be found on the orchestra’s website.

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