J O I N U S
We are currently recruiting sopranos and altos.
If you're an excellent sight-reader and are confident singing in smaller groups, unaccompanied, we'd love you to hear from you.
F E A T U R E D R E V I E W S
"Outstanding performance from an incredibly talented ensemble and passionate conductor. Polyphony which truly enriches the soul. Thank you for a memorable and most enjoyable evening!"
“Helped by a wonderful acoustic, we knew from the very first perfectly balanced chord that we were in for a treat. The blend and balance in the sound was enviable with no individual voices sticking out. And the repertoire was something of a revelation. Congratulations one and all.”
“Thank you so much for arranging such an enjoyable event last Monday. It was simply the best couple of hours' practical music making in which I have ever participated.”
In common with many musical groups, we were unable to perform during the lockdown owing to restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time we found alternative ways of bringing Renaissance music to you, which we hope to continue now that we are back to live performance.
We are incredibly grateful to our generous supporters for their kind donations over recent months, which have helped to sustain the choir. Any donations you feel able to give us will enable us to continue to bring you online content and to present concerts now that restrictions allow.
E V E N T S
O beata infantia!
Christmas in the footsteps
Géry de Ghersem, Missa Ave Virgo Sanctissima
Loyset Pieton, O beata infantia
Francisco Guerrero, Ave Virgo Sanctissima
and motets and villancicos by Guerrero
Saturday 10 December 2022, 7.30pm
St. George's Bloomsbury, WC1A 2SA
Directed by David Allinson
The Renaissance Singers presents a programme of meditative, awestruck and joyful music for the festive season, focusing on the infant Jesus and his mother. This recital showcases two unjustly-neglected masters of the expressive, flowing style of imitative polyphony that was perfected by generations of Franco-Flemish musicians during the 16th century, following the trail blazed by Josquin, and which was sought after in every European court and cathedral.
The music of Loyset Piéton (fl.c.1530-45) survives mostly in Italian sources but was copied and performed across Western Europe. His Christmas antiphon, O beata infantia, is a masterclass in emotive, lyrical writing. Géry de Ghersem (c.1573-1630) is even more obscure, yet this Tournai-born musician held exalted positions at the courts of Madrid and Brussels. Tragically, all but one of his works were destroyed in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. What survives is a corker of a Mass, based on the most celebrated Marian motet by Francisco Guerrero, Ave Virgo Sanctissima.
While many Flemish composers used Guerrero’s masterpiece as the inspiration for new music; Ghersem takes his tribute to the next level, expanding the five part texture to seven voices and adding complexity, so that the Mass becomes a scintillating fantasia on its source material.
Guerrero (1528-99) was called by contemporaries ‘el cantor de Maria’; his music for Mary has a special fervency and dignity. Along with his masterpiece motet, Ave Virgo Sanctissima, this evening of musical discoveries and revelations will be topped off with other works by the Spanish master, both motets for the Virgin and lighter villancicos in Spanish. Feliz navidad!