Saturday 25 June 2022 - Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon - 8 pm
Academy Baroque Players
Julia Doyle, soprano
Grace Davidson, soprano
Hugo Hymas, tenor
Nick Pritchard, tenor
Alastair Ross, organ
Paula Chateauneuf, theorbo
Matthew Best - conduc:tor
Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 was written at a time of almost unimaginable change in Western music. Opera was just then emerging as an art form and with it all manner of compositional innovation. It is almost certain that Claudio Monteverdi (then employed by the Duke of Mantua) wished to better his position and felt that to do so he needed to demonstrate his mastery of all of the techniques of the day. He appears to have resolved to compose the hugely virtuosic Vespers as a vehicle in which these remarkable skills could be displayed to the then Pope to whom he presented the completed work in September 1610. Remarkably there is no record of any performance of the work having been given at the time - or indeed at any time prior to the composer’s death in 1643 (certainly not as a single work).
The opulence, complexity and sheer scale of the Vespers were completely unprecedented at the time and even today its grandeur and the mastery of compositional technique allows the work to astonish. The orchestration is rich and varied with virtuosic writing for numerous of the players as soloists. The choir must divide in anything up to 10 vocal lines and sometimes as a double choir and the soloists simply must be specialists in order to do the work justice.
As such we are delighted to have engaged, the sopranos Julia Doyle and Grace Davidson, the tenors Hugo Hymas and Nick Pritchard, His Majestys Sackbutts & Cornetts, strings from the Academy Baroque Players, the keyboardist Alastair Ross and theorbo player Paula Chateauneuf to ensure that this performance will be one to treasure. We very much look forward to sharing this dramatic, grand and glorious work in the impressive acoustic of Sacred Heart Church.
Saturday 12 November 2022 - Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon - 8 pm
Poulenc Litanies à la Vierge Noire (orchestral version)
Berlioz L'Enfance du Christ
London Mozart Players
Grace Durham, mezzo soprano
Alessandro Fisher, tenor
Julian van Mellaerts, baritone
James Platt, bass
Matthew Best - conduc:tor
This concert will open the Wimbledon International Music Festival 2022. Please refer to the Festival's website (here) for further details and for information about ticket pricing and availability.
We are determined to ensure that our concerts are not just highly enjoyable musical occasions but also an integral part of community life. They offer an opportunity to catch up with friends as well as make new ones; to hear familiar music and - hopefully - also some less familiar music that you will swiftly come to love. They are also events for all ages; we believe very strongly that high quality musical organisations - particularly those with a strong community focus - have a responsibility to share their music with everyone, not just those for whom attending a classical music concert is a routine experience. For that reason we always offer very affordable child tickets throughout our venues as well as affordable full price tickets. We also take our work into schools and invite local schoolchildren and parents to witness our final rehearsals free of charge. If you would like to support or take advantage of these opportunities please do get in touch.
Further concert plans
As yet unscheduled concert plans include the completion of our cycle of the major Handel oratorios, motets by Bruckner and others, Bach's St Matthew Passion, Magnificats by JS Bach, CPE Bach and Arvo Pårt, further great English choral anthems and a series of new commissions.