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

coronasolfège for 6

Earlier this year, we found ourselves glued to our screens as Héloïse Werner captured our imaginations with her coronasolfège videos. We thought it would be fun to try it out for ourselves – amazingly, Héloïse thought so too and so we commissioned coronasolfège for 6, which we are now delighted to present as a video.

Composer’s Note

Coronasolfege was born at the start of lockdown in March 2020. Just like every other musician in the world, all my performances suddenly got cancelled and I was stuck at home with nothing to do. I needed to find something to keep myself occupied. I started experimenting with creating rhythms and short melodies only using my face (eyes, teeth, voice) and my hands (on my cheeks). I came up with a simple 30-second composition where my eyes, teeth, voice and hands each go in different but repeated rhythms: eyes in crotchets, teeth in quavers, voice in triplets and hands in semiquavers. I filmed it, posted it on Twitter and Coronasolfege was born.

Creating these Coronasolfege videos gave me a sense of purpose – each one was like a mini challenge. My main goal with them was to cheer people up so each video is upbeat and sometimes funny. Alongside the rhythmic games and melodic earworms, I also enjoyed creating comical characters using world-plays and props.

This project has been a lovely way to be socially engaged with people from all over the world during the difficult periods of isolation. I wrote this new piece for this wonderful ensemble – I hope you enjoy the result…

Behind the scenes during coronasolfège for 6 filming
Listen to our first podcast episode, which features an interview with Héloïse Werner

Find out more about Héloïse Werner

12 Days of Christmas

We are delighted to be partnering with Ryedale Festival, Echo Vocal Ensemble and The Swan Consort to produce the ‘12 Days of Christmas’.

Give the gift of a Choral Christmas to your loved ones this year from three of the UK’s brightest choral ensembles.

Filmed in the splendour of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, 12 Days of Christmas delivers a seasonal musical offering to the recipient’s email inbox every day from 25th December to 6th January.

With options for bespoke gift packages or eco-friendly digital delivery, 12 Days of Christmas is the perfect present for your music-loving friends and family wherever they may be during the festive season.

Presented in association with Ryedale Festival and with grateful thanks to Tidze.

Advent Sessions

From Darkness to Light

The Gesualdo Six present a series of short recitals for the season of Advent, recorded in the stunning Boxgrove Priory.

Ticket holders will be able to watch each recital on demand from the date of broadcast until 6 January 2021.

i. I look from afar (Sunday 29 November)

Music by Palestrina, Lassus and Eccard.

ii. In Mary’s Love (Sunday 6 December)

Music by Hildegard, Bingham and Palestrina.

iii. Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland (Sunday 13 December)

Works by Praetorius and Cheryl Frances-Hoad alongside a plainchant setting of the Advent hymn, Veni redemptor gentium.

iv. Veni Emmanuel (Sunday 20 December)

Works by Byrd and Adrian Peacock alongside the traditional Advent hymn, Veni Emmanuel.

#AdventSessions


Purchase a copy of our Christmas album.

12 Days Challenge

Calling ALL composers, musicians, and enthusiasts! Complete this cadence for choir as you see fit. The twelve winning submissions will be recorded professionally and featured as part of an upcoming seasonal festival featuring The Gesualdo Six, Echo Vocal Ensemble and The Swan Consort, in partnership with Ryedale Festival.

Email your submission to choralchristmas@gmail.com or you can tweet with the hashtag #12dayschallenge.

Limelight Award for Fading

“A ravishing disc that combines Renaissance music by the likes of Tallis and Gesualdo with complementary contemporary choral works.”

We are thrilled that Fading has been awarded Vocal Recording of the Year by Limelight.

“These performances are superb: precision, warmth, power and delicacy united in an utterly beguiling whole, all the while maintaining perfect definition as each vocal tonality inhabits its own sphere,” wrote Lisa MacKinney, also admiring the recording from St George’s Church, Cambridge. “Its glorious acoustics are on show in spades, with a rich, thick presence and just the right amount of reverberation for these glorious voices to soar heavenwards.”

Read more about the awards

Purchase a copy of the disc

About the album

Since the fourth century, the service of Compline has marked the end of the day, ushering in the darkness of the night. Much of the music here is inspired by this ancient service. The first half of the album features a selection of atmospheric works that relate to the transition between light and darkness. Then there is a turning point; the light returns, birds sing, and flowers bloom once more.

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A beautiful lullaby by Estonian composer, Veljo Tormis

London Sound Gallery artists featured on Radio 3

Congratulations to three of the London Sound Gallery artists for being featured as part of BBC Radio 3’s YOUNG STARS: 31 UNDER 31 series.

Héloïse Werner and Matilda Lloyd were announced by Georgia Mann, and Owain Park by Petroc Trelawny on BBC Radio 3 Breakfast shows during October.

Catch their London Sound Gallery concerts on-demand before 1 January 2021. Find out more.

Fading nominated for Limelight award

Our latest album, Fading has been nominated for Limelight’s Recording of the Year 2020.

Limelight’s critics have picked their 25 favourite recordings from the last 12 months.

Rarities include a Mass by Jan Ladislav Dussek (rediscovered by Richard Egarr) and William Alwyn’s operatic version of Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Finally, two discs that mix the old with the new: Owain Park’s masterfully programmed choral recital, Fading, and an intriguing juxtaposition of Rameau and Debussy on Víkingur Ólafsson’s latest disc. In other words, plenty of food for thought.

Limelight Magazine

A long list of 100 recordings has been whittled down to five discs in each of five categories: Orchestral, Chamber, Instrumental, Vocal & Choral, and Opera.

Read Limelight Magazine’s review of Fading here.

Bristol Concerts this September

We are delighted to be returning to Bristol to give two concerts at All Saints Clifton on Saturday 19 September 2020 at 3pm and 7pm.

We have chosen some of our favourite pieces to perform, including well-loved works from our repertoire alongside new pieces discovered over the past few months.

Taking our cue from other organisations planning similar events and in line with current guidelines, both concerts are for a small and distanced audience. Ticket prices reflect this, although reduced rates are available.

Audience members will be required to wear masks apart from those who are exempt.

Tickets are available by request only. Please use this form to request your tickets.

The safety of all who attend—audience, artists and stewards—is our top priority.