Lent Sessions

The Gesualdo Six present Lent Sessions: a series of short recitals featuring motets, hymns and plainchant recorded in the historic church of St Bartholomew the Great in London.

A new episode will air every Sunday during Lent, with a total of 8 performances. Ticket holders will be able to watch each recital on-demand until 14 April 2021.

#LentSessions

English Motets concert for CantaBO

We have recorded a concert for Festival CantaBO featuring our English Motets programme.

Were due to perform a concert Bologna in November 2020, but sadly we were unable travel due to restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Instead, we recorded our concert in Tooting in South London in glorious 4K, which the festival have made available with complimentary online access from 26 December until 12 January on the CantaBO website.

By subscribing to this concert you will receive the link to watch the video and to download the programme, in PDF format, with all the scores of the pieces performed.

English Motets

Programme

Afflicti pro Peccati – Byrd
O Nata Lux – Thomas Tallis
In Pace – Christopher Tye
If Ye Love Me – Tallis
Christe, Qui Lux es et Dies – Robert White
When David Heard – Thomas Tomkins
Tota Pulchra Es – John Plummer
Laudate Pueri Dominum – Byrd

BBC Radio 3 Christmas broadcast

You can now listen again to our broadcast of seasonal music from the 35th Christmas Festival at St John’s Smith Square. For centuries, Christmas and the surrounding seasons have inspired composers to new heights of invention. This programme reaches across the ages, from the eternal beauty of the Tudor church right up to the twenty-first century, with each piece chosen to evoke a sense of mystery and joy. Featuring works by Orlande de Lassus, Michael Praetorius, Judith Bingham and Sally Beamish.

Listen again via the BBC website

Download programme notes

Fauré Requiem – JAM on the Marsh

For the next month-or-so you can catch-up with our performance of the Fauré Requiem with a slightly-expanded team and the wonderful London Mozart Players, filmed as-live from JAM on the Marsh in St. Leonard’s Church in Hythe. It was a wonderful experience for us to be able to gather together to perform this justly-famous work interspersed with beautiful new poems read by Welsh poet Grahame Davies.

New Podcast – Isolation Special

We’re pleased to have released a new edition of our podcast. Episode three is our Isolation Special: Bringing you all the news and views from the members of The Gesualdo Six and their friends in isolation. Featuring a discussion about the voice and acoustics with countertenor duo Guy and Andrew, Sam baking some bread, and Josh seeing a giraffe on a bicycle.

Listen in with your normal podcast provider, on Spotify, through Apple Podcasts, or on our Simplecast page.

Fading Review: Choir and Organ

We were delighted to read that our latest CD ‘Fading‘ had received a five-star review in the April edition of Choir and Organ magazine by Brian Morton:

“Combining Tallis and Gesualdo with modern/contemporary composers such as Sarah Rimkus and Gerda Blok-Wilson and the late Veljo Tormis can be tricky for an ensemble, but The Gesualdo Six and Owain Park are fearless and have shaped a programme that almost plays out as a composed sequence. The singing is impeccable… A wonderful recording.”

BBC Radio 3 – Record Review: Fading

We were delighted to be featured on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review this morning with our third album: Fading.

Anna Lapwood was discussing our recording with Andrew McGregor:

“I think The Gesualdo Six and Owain Park are just incredible at this ingenious programming, so there’s this melding of renaissance polyphony with contemporary choral music.

“I feel it’s a very classy way to look at music by female composers that people might not know… It’s just extremely good all woven together with this thread of music for night-time, music for compline.

Blend and intonation really are [impeccable]… You can tell this is a group that work together almost constantly, they know each other’s voices so well… solo singing with a really clear sensitivity of ensemble.

“A beautiful recording.”

It was lovely to hear the title track by Joanna Marsh being played nation-wide and our own Owain Park’s Phos Hilaron. Keen fans might notice that we were reviewed alongside The Marian Consort’s Singing in Secret featuring Michael and his fiancée Helen and also De Profundis’ Esquivel: Missa Hortus Conclusus which Guy is singing on also, so quite a bumper week!

You can listen again to the broadcast by clicking here, and hear our segment by playing from 2:02:00 in.

Autumn Report

Hello from us all at The Gesualdo Six! As we await the start of Advent and our festive concert series, it feels like a good opportunity to talk about a few of the wonderful projects that we enjoyed this autumn before we look ahead to a few of the exciting things that are coming up towards the end of this year!

It so happened that autumn would take us to all the constituent parts of the UK, starting with St. Asaph in North Wales. The cathedral there is stunning and proved to be a perfect acoustic for our Mother Earth programme. We enjoyed a delicious cream tea in the sun overlooking the graveyard, which includes the last resting place of organist and composer William Matthias, who’s music all the members of the group have performed in other guises.

Rehearsal in St. Asaph

We had a wonderful time in early October working with the fantastic trumpeter Matilda Lloyd. These type of collaborations are a really wonderful way to refresh ourselves musically: allowing us both to explore new repertoire and to learn from and grow with fellow musicians. So it proved working with Matilda, and with her it was a delight to revisit some past venues in Wells and Clifton in Bristol. On our way back to London we performed at Hurstbourne Tarrant, at the kind invitation of some of our patrons.

We revisited a further three venues in the middle of this October: St Mary’s, Warwick with Leamington Early Music performing Music of the Heavenly Spheres, some English Motets at the Little Missenden Festival (followed by some karaoke!) and Passion and Polyphony at North Luffenham (after some cricket nets).

Rehearsal under some of the amazing frescoes of Little Missenden
Joseph Wicks to Owain “Out-of-the-” Park in North Luffenham. Josh is in the covers.

A few days later including rehearsals and preparation in London, we boarded a long train to St. Andrews to continue our tour of UK nations. The rail journey was stunning, especially along the Firth of Forth. We were very excited to work with the choir of St. Salvator’s Chapel and their director Claire Innes-Hopkins in a joint evensong as part of the St. Andrew’s Voices Festival. More collaboration here in Scotland too, as we performed live alongside light shows by LuxMuralis.

We were particularly pleased to run two workshops over a very busy few days! It was brilliant to work alongside two very talented young Scottish consorts: Cantus Firmus and a group formed from St. Salvator’s choir. We also ran a come-and-sing on Haydn’s Creation giving us a chance not only to meet lots of keen local singers but also to perform a few short solos from this great work!

Owain leading our come-and-sing Creation

In between singing we managed to play a little cricket on a windy Scottish beach, much to the bemusement of locals, tourists and golfers! Our last engagement in Scotland was a lovely chance to sing Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices to a packed St. Salvator’s Chapel as part of the Festival Eucharist.

Beautiful St. Andrews
Tenor Tom Castle executing a delightfully lazy flick off his pads, sending wicket-keeper Craddock scurrying to deep square leg. Joseph adjusts his hat at Gully.

Our final stop on our mini-tour of the UK was the Derry International Choir Festival, a first visit to the Emerald Isle for some of the group! It was a real pleasure to learn a little about the history of the beautiful maiden city and wonderful to meet so many international musicians at our concert there.

Looking ahead to Advent, we were very excited to release our second CD Christmas in early November, and recorded some videos with the wonderful David Hinitt to go alongside the CD, which will become available through advent.

A sneak-peek at our Christmas video recording!

Returning to the Belgian town of Verviers for a second time on the Eurostar, we were excited to present a small amuse-bouche of advent works at the end of our Passion and Polyphony programme. After travelling from Verviers to St. Pancras we headed to Muswell Hill and Owain’s kitchen for a planning meeting, in which we conceived this little round-up. So there you are! You’re up to date!

Keep tuned for Part II of our November Update, which will look forward to some of the coming events and projects that we’ve been busy planning!