Brahms German Requiem by Candlelight
Byrd – Civitas Sanctis Tui
Palestrina – Stabat Mater
Tomkins – When David Heard
Tallis – Lamentations Part 1
Lotti – Crucifixus
Brahms – Requiem
Mark Forkgen Conductor
Canticum is one of the most musically versatile chamber choirs in the country. Now in its 22nd season, it is praised for accomplished performances of major works and for exploring contemporary repertoire. The choir has also commissioned new writing and gives regular first performances.
To celebrate its 21st anniversary season in 2010-11, the choir completed a dazzling programme centred on the complete series of Bach motets, taking in works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler and Schönberg on the way. There was also a critically acclaimed first performance of Geoffrey Burgon’s Songs Between the Soul and the Bridegroom and a première of Simon Speare’s Songs of Belonging, winner of a BBC award.
In 2010, Canticum took part in Britten’s War Requiem in the Barbican and Salisbury Cathedral and an acclaimed concert of choral music from Eastern Europe with Kokoro featuring the UK premiere of Concertino by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin. July saw a special invitation to perform in the American Music Festival at St-Martin-in-The-Fields on Trafalgar Square, which was followed later in the year by the first performance of Simon Speare’s Songs of Belonging and Rachmaninov’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Canticum performed the Monteverdi Vespers at St Martin’s in 2009 and closed the Chichester Festival with Haydn’s Creation. Other highlights include BBC Radio 4’s Christmas Morning Service, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment at St John’s, Smith Square and the première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Step by Circle, dedicated to Mark Forkgen. By way of contrast, the choir opened the 2008 Chelsea Festival, providing choral voices for Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother alongside soloist David Gilmour.
The choir stages regular trips abroad, with Italy a favourite destination. Canticum has toured with works including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt, a performance which opened the Viterbo Early Music Festival to a packed audience.
Recording, too, has an important place in Canticum’s schedule. The existing catalogue includes ‘A Hymn to the Virgin’, with works by Victoria, Poulenc and Panufnik, and ‘A Christmas Carol’, recorded in aid of the Samaritans. Both are on the Meridian label. ‘In the Gloom of Whiteness’ with Craft Music features work by Colin Riley, Fraser Trainer and Keith Roberts. The live recording of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s ‘Step by Circle’ and ‘Two Latin Motets’ is available on MaxOpus. Canticum’s most recent recording, ‘The Christmas Story’, was released in December 2010 by the Classical Recording Company.
Canticum is a registered charity, number 1014780.