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P a s t   C o n c e r t s

Season 2015-16

Para Deus e Para Rei: Manuel Cardoso at 450

Missa Miserere mihi Domine and motets

Saturday 18th June 2016 - 7:30pm

St Sepulchre without Newgate,

Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2DQ


Director: David Allinson


Manuel Cardoso, perhaps the greatest composer of Portugal’s late-blossoming musical Renaissance, was famed both for his religious virtue and his musical gifts. His career spanned the period of national liberation from Spanish rule. King Philip of Spain was a patron, and King João IV of Portugal kept a portrait of the composer in his music library.


Cardoso’s polyphony displays the technical refinement of Palestrina but bathed in harmonic richness, laden with suspensions and flecked with chromatic colour, to produce moments of directness and emotional turbulence that surpass the Italian master. The opulent and haunting Missa Miserere mihi Domine was performed alongside motets by Cardoso, Duarte Lobo and other contemporaries.

Requiem for Josquin

Richafort’s Missa pro defunctis and Motets of Tribute

Saturday 12th March 2016 - 7:30pm

St Gabriel's, Pimlico, SW1V 2AD


Monday 21st March 2016 - 7:00pm

Koncertkirken, Copenhagen, Denmark


Tuesday 22nd March 2016 - 7:00pm

St. Johannes Kyrka, Malmö, Sweden


Director: David Allinson


The greatest composer of the early Renaissance, Josquin des Prez, died 495 years ago. His contemporaries recognised what we can still hear: that he had an almost supernatural gift for writing profoundly emotional, exquisitely crafted music. To mark the passing of the master they garlanded his memory with motets of lamentation. The centrepiece of our programme is Richafort’s consoling setting of the Requiem, which quotes throughout the popular melody that Josquin had set, Faulte d’argent, with its text, ‘it is a sorrow without equal’.

O Magnum Mysterium

A Renaissance Christmas

Saturday 19th December 2015 - 7:30pm

St Giles in the Fields, WC2H 8LG


Director: David Allinson


A feast of seasonal works written by the leading European composers at the end of the 16th century, including settings of the enduring Christmas text O Magnum Mysterium.


The centrepiece of the concert was Tomas Luis de Victoria’s sumptuous double-­choir mass Alma Redemptoris Mater, based on his own setting of these words, the hymn sung daily to Mary during the Advent and Christmas periods. Besides Victoria’s glorious original motet our programme included works by Morales, Guerrero, Lassus and Palestrina that celebrate the birth of Jesus and the role of his mother, conjuring up a range of emotions from contemplative awe to exuberant joy.

Miguel Ximenez, c.1490

In the Company of Saints and Angels

Music for All Saints on Halloween

Saturday 31st October 2015 - 7:00pm

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, EC1A 2DQ


Guest Director: Patrick Craig


The Renaissance Singers celebrated All Hallow's Eve with a spectacular programme of music in praise of the heavenly hosts. The concert included a rich array of English and continental works written for All Saints' Day. 


Lassus uses every trick in his ten-part motet and Magnificat Aurora lucis rutilat to spectacularly "bring forth his sleeping Saints to light".  Heinrich Isaac's grand six-voice motet Angeli, archangeli sets a text from the liturgy of the Feast of All Saints which lavishly lists every heavenly occupant. William Byrd scales his creative heights in his Propers for All Saints which includes the ever popular and consoling Justorum animae.  2015 had seen a year-long celebration of the music of John Sheppard and we concluded this with three pieces for the season - Laudem dicite, Audivi vocem and his ethereal setting of the Te Deum, with its invocations of Cherubim and Seraphim.

Miguel Ximenez, c.1490
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