#liveholyweek – 5 videos from Ely Lady Chapel

We teamed up with Ely Cathedral to release 5 videos for holy week as part of their #liveholyweek initiative. We really enjoyed getting to sing in the incredible acoustic of the Ely Lady Chapel, and we’re very pleased to be able to share the results with you.

We recorded pieces by Lassus, Tomkins, Byrd, Gesualdo and Łukaszewski, and they can all now be found here, on our new videos page!

Here is one of those videos! #liveholyweek gave us the perfect opportunity to record for the first time all 7 members of the group singing together, performing Vide, Homo by Lassus.

Spring is here!

An early start heralded the beginning of our Spring projects, with me meeting Owain, Joseph, and the familiar rented 7-seater just outside Cambridge on Sunday morning. Engineering works, a hasty U-turn and three hours of driving later saw more of us than we were expecting arriving in the car in Monmouth for our first concert of 2017 on home soil, in Wye Valley Music’s 2016/17 season, with a lovely programme covering the whole range of our repertoire. Featuring several pieces that help us with preparations for recording this week! The church and Monmouthshire were stunning and we really enjoyed performing there and seeing some familiar faces, many of whom had travelled down from Herefordshire. Being one of the members of the group who suffers from standing at a normal height, I found myself in the familiar position of being pressed up against Josh and our luggage in the back of the car for the drive back to Cambridge, where we are now installed and from where we are very excited to bring you news from our recording in the beautifully sunny Trinity College over the next few days!

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Our first venue, the beautiful Priory Church in Monmouth.

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Trinity chapel in the sun.

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The set up begins in the chapel vestry – miles of cabling and a welcome return to working with group favourite David Hinitt accompanied by our producer Adrian Peacock.

Spring Season

We are looking forward to a busy spring season, with our first performances in the North of England as well as in The Hague and at the Wye Valley Music Festival. We are also recording our first CD of English Renaissance Polyphony, before appearing at the inaugural Holy Week Festival at St John’s Smith Square, in partnership with Tenebrae.

Performance Dates

– 22 March: REMA European Day of Early Music in The Hague | Website

–  26 March at 3pm in Monmouth Priory Church | Website

–  30 March at 6.30pm in Kingston Parish Church | Tickets available by emailing Linda Rimmer

–  31 March at 6.30pm in Blackburn Cathedral (featuring the Cathedral Choristers) | Tickets

–  1 April at 5pm in Victoria Hall, Bolton (concert and workshop for Bolton Choirs Festival) | Tickets

–  2 April at 7pm in St Ann’s Church, Manchester | Tickets

–  10 April at 6pm in St John’s Smith Square (part of the Holy Week Festival) | Website

G6 Northern Tour 2017 Poster

Northern Tour 2017

St Anne's Manchester.jpgWe are delighted to be performing our first concerts in the North of England, taking place in Blackburn, Bolton and Manchester 31 March – 2 April.

“The coolest vocal group around – revel in the gorgeous sounds, the spellbinding music, the programmes with something for everyone. Don’t miss them, I guarantee you’ll have the best evening ever.” – John Rutter

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DATES

–  Friday 31 March at 6.30pm in Blackburn Cathedral. Featuring the Cathedral Choristers in a joint performance of Allegri’s stunning Miserere mei, Deus | Tickets (£8/Free under-18s)

–  Saturday 1 April at 5pm in Victoria Hall, Bolton. Concert and workshop for Bolton Choirs Festival | Tickets (£6/Free under-18s)

–  Sunday 2 April at 7pm in St Ann’s Church, Manchester. Featuring a work by local composer Douglas Mason as well as folksong and light music arrangements  | Tickets (£8/Free under-18s)

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ABOUT THE GROUP

The Gesualdo Six are a vocal consort directed by Owain Park. Formed in March 2014, the ensemble has since gone on to perform numerous concerts around the UK, including two summer tours.

Whilst focusing on early music, the group often programmes modern works, including pieces by Joanna Marsh, Sarah Rimkus and Paweł Łukaszewski in their recent concerts.

The group were St John’s Smith Square Young Artists 2015-2016, following a highly competitive audition process. The scheme invests in promising artists who show “enormous talent and energy”, endeavouring to help shape their futures.

The group’s first recording will be an album of English renaissance polyphony, due for release in late 2017.

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We are looking for some sponsorship with this venture. Read more in a blog post from Owain here: http://thinknowltd.com/guest-blog-owain-park-director-of-the-gesualdo-six/

Christmas Tour 2016 Review

Now we’re safely nestled in the first week of 2017, it feels like a good time to have a little reminisce about our recent Advent exploits. We were very proud to perform abroad for the first time in Monaco and also  enjoyed returning to Salisbury and St. John’s Smith Square, a venue that has felt like a second home this last year. We also returned to the nation’s airwaves, and were pleased to be reunited with Sean Rafferty for Radio 3’s ‘In-Tune’. Performing on the radio can be nerve-wracking but we always love the ‘In-Tune experience’ and we will look forward to going back to perform there again, hopefully sometime over the coming year.

Our ‘Veni, Veni Emmanuel’ tour repertoire featured music by many of our favourite composers including J.S. Bach, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Herbert Howells, Jonathan Rathbone and John Rutter. We also performed works written for The King’s Singers and Opus Anglicanum, plus John Tavener’s stunning setting of ‘The Lamb’.

We wish all our supporters and followers a happy and prosperous 2017. We can’t wait to share with you all some of the very exciting developments that we’re currently working hard on bringing to you all over the next 12 months!

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Christmas Tour Blog – Day 6

Mike writes about our concert in SJSS and the last day of The Gesualdo Six’s 2016 season:

Saturday morning brought with it something not yet experienced on this tour: a lie-in, and a much needed one, after a lively wine and perudo evening after our Salisbury concert. The group stumbled blinking from their dens at times between 10 and 11, to enjoy a delicious Wicks family breakfast, before heading off to Salisbury station and back to the big smoke. Three pieces of left luggage and one slightly broken family car later (Sam is stronger than he looks), we were on the train to London.

We got to Smith Square just before 3pm, and rendezvoused with our sleep-addled director, who was already one concert down for the day, having travelled 200 miles to conduct Cambridge Chorale in a Christmas carol concert at 11am that morning (glutton for punishment that he is). With that in mind, we had a leisurely rehearsal getting used to singing in the venue again, which after 5 concerts there this year, feels like home for us. A couple of hours later, we went for the customary pre-concert Pizza Express, and hurried back afterwards to try and dodge the miserable weather.

No such misery in the concert, which was a tremendously enjoyable experience. The SJSS audience, bolstered by friends and relations, was wonderfully appreciative, and it felt quite sad to bid farewell to a programme which we are all hugely fond of. I’m sure some of these pieces will be getting many repeat G6 airings! Post Jingle Bells (which included some classy Santa hats from our tenor section), we retired to the crypt to indulge ourselves in a bottle of prosecco or five, before going our separate ways. It has been a most enjoyable first Christmas tour, and as I sit writing this blog on the way to my Sunday singing on a beautiful winter morning, I’m already looking forward to the next one!

 

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A photo from the curtain call of the final concert of our Christmas Tour on the 10th December in St. John’s Smith Square, featuring Joseph’s Santa Hat.

Christmas Tour Blog – Day 5: Joe Blogs

Due to technical difficulties with our website, (which we hope are now fixed once and for all!) we weren’t   able to publish our last two tour blogs when they were ready. Presented here in all it’s slightly-delayed glory we have Day 5 (Salisbury), written by local boy Joseph:

Friday began with an early start (which for me always requires the use of several alarm clocks). However, on this occasion I was raring to go!

Having been a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, it was to be a very special morning for me as we prepared to sing for the pupils, staff and parents of the Cathedral School during their Friday morning assembly, which takes place in the cathedral itself. We arrived and sang through our two pieces, and immediately began to enjoy singing that bit louder to project the length of the quire. The children were such attentive listeners, and it proved to be a very successful performance, which was greatly appreciated by the school. Huge thanks to my parents (who teach at the school), the Chaplain and to the Headmaster for making us feel so welcome, and for making it happen at all!

Then proceeded a rather extended, excellent brunch at Boston Tea Party and some well earned free time before we welcomed back Owain from Cambridge and Josh from London (apparently he sings in some other groups).

We then returned to St Martin’s Church, 15 months after our first concert there, and proceeded to wallow in the near-perfect acoustic. We enjoyed using the entire building during our evening concert, moving to the very front and very back of the church, as well as singing Brian Kay’s catchy arrangement of Gaudete in procession down the side aisles (successfully remaining in time!). We were fortunate to welcome a lovely audience of some of our old friends, some people who had not heard us before, as well as family and friends who live in Salisbury, including several of my former teachers from the cathedral school.

I would like to thank my parents, on behalf of the group, for hosting all of us so well as always including chauffeuring, feeding, hosting a small party after the concert, and for promoting the concert locally for us. We can’t wait to return!

 

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A photo taken during the concert in St. Martin’s Church in Salisbury on the 9th December 2016.

Christmas Tour Blog – Day 4

Guy talks us through the happenings on the fourth day of our Christmas Tour.

After the reception in the wonderful Willey Place we went straight to bed as we’d had a very long day, and the next morning we enjoyed the (much-needed) first lie-in of the tour. Spurred on by England’s batting performance in Mumbai some of the group took to the cricket net in the garden. Exploiting slippery conditions, house-rules and the lack of an actual Cricket bat, I proceeded to make hay, bowling Owain through the gate early on to take a crucial head-start. Some creamy late cuts and a punched 6 down the ground from Alex set up a crucial final over. Guy kept the bowling tight to hold him to a crucial tie. A good result secured we proceeded to pack and headed straight to BBC Broadcasting House.

With excitement mounting for only our second live radio appearance we were whisked upstairs to experiment with the balance and reacquaint ourselves with Sean. We loved performing in the studio and we’re all amazed, being able to listen back, what a great job the ‘In Tune’ team do to make the tiny room sound like a church. You too can listen again on the Radio iPlayer to our performance of ‘Es ist ein Ros’ by Praetorius, ’There is no Rose’ from the Trinity Carol Roll, Audivi Vocem by Taverner and ‘Oh my love is like a red, red Rose’ in a lovely arrangement by Simon Carrington by clicking on this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084dclm.

After the broadcast the group divided, with many of us enjoying quick stop through the Euston tap before we came together to once again zoom south, this time to Joe’s family’s house in Salisbury to prepare for the penultimate concert of the tour…

The lads rehearse 'There is no Rose' from the Trinity Carol Roll in the Radio 3 studio. Featuring Alex's now-famous-shirt.

The lads rehearse ‘There is no Rose’ from the Trinity Carol Roll in the Radio 3 studio. Featuring Alex’s now-famous-shirt.

Christmas Tour Blog – Day 3

Day the third comes from Alex Chance, who’s always trying his luck.
 
Day 3 was moving day for us: one which began bright and early in the balmy climes of the Cote D’Azur and ended in wintry Hampshire frost. We all came down for breakfast in our Monaco hotel remarkably punctually given Owain’s and Josh’s heroic exploits on the felt of Monte Carlo’s casinos in the early hours of the morning: that they had emerged with all their clothing was commendable enough; but to return with their wallets bulging was positively impressive. The views along the coast from the rickety train to Nice airport gave us one final glimpse of the Mediterranean luxury to which we had managed to grow accustomed in the space of 36 hours.
 
Back to reality in England, we set off on our journey down to Hampshire via an assortment of the best that British public transport has to offer – a Rail Bus service to Woking and a South West train down to Farnham. They ran impossibly smoothly – proving that the infection from Southern Rail has not yet spread westwards – and Owain’s best-laid travel plans and timings were left untouched.
 
We were picked up from Farnham station by Sarah Hard, a devoted supporter of ours who had kindly agreed to host an intimate concert in the ballroom of her stunning Hampshire house, Willey Place. After a lavish champagne reception (the beef-and-stilton sausage canapés were feasted upon with relish), we sang a wide-ranging programme featuring some christmas music alongside others from our core repertoire, as well as a couple of Purcell solo numbers with the in-house harpsichord.
 
The evening was a big success and we’re enormously grateful to Sarah and her daughter Clarissa for organising everything and hosting us so generously.

Christmas Tour Blog – Day 2

Blogging about our concert day in Monaco is Josh Cooter.

We awoke on Day 2 of our Christmas Tour with high hopes after last night’s impromptu performance at the tapas restaurant. Even Joe was wide eyed and bushy tailed and suggested, as he was a F1 aficionado, that THE THING to do in Monaco was to walk the F1 track and, whilst not all the members quite shared his passion, the chance to top up our tans in the glorious December sunshine was hard to turn down.

Returning from essentially “walking on a road” we had a quick bite to eat before meeting our Monaco contact Emmanuelle who took us to the Chappelle de la Visitation where we were to perform later that day. The baroque church overlooked the stunning view of the harbour and was such a pleasure to sing in – we even managed to record a quick video which you can find on our Facebook page.

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A strange thing was happening around town. Either we were sticking out like sore thumbs or word had spread after last night as glances and conversations by random passers-by suggested that we were “les musiciens”.

Success! We were the talk of the town! The concert was a sellout and after an encore of John Taverner’s ‘The Lamb’ and a standing ovation the crowd left, what I can only assume through my lacklustre French, happy.

Now it was time to enjoy the high life of Monaco. Unfortunately our invites to one of the many incredible yachts in the harbour must have been lost in the post so instead we decided to treat ourselves to a meal. This, however, turned out to be a rather pricey affair so a couple of members of the group were sent to the casino to recuperate some of the lost money.

Luck turned out to be on our side as it had been throughout our time in Monaco, and we really hope to return soon!

G6 in Monaco 2016