Antonio Vivaldi’s joyous Gloria was famously composed for the musicians of the Ospedale della Pietà orphanage in Venice. Similarly, the Baroque composers Porpora and Hasse were also high-profile teachers who wrote choral works for their Ospedale pupils in Naples and Venice, combining social enterprise and musical excellence in a way that resonates powerfully with the ethos of St Martin's.
Renowned for their strikingly innovative approach, I Fagiolini present an eclectic range of vocal showstoppers. Spanning from Claudio Monteverdi to Cathy Berberian, this programme revels in the tantalising ache and biting discord that render choral works unforgettable. Esteemed director Robert Hollingworth shares his razor-sharp insight into how these repertoire classics gain mythical status for singers and audiences alike.
The Hermes Experiment is a trailblazing contemporary quartet, dedicated to the performance of new commissions and arrangements scored for their unique combination of harp, clarinet, voice and double bass. Highly praised for their nuanced and witty performances, The Hermes Experiment take us on an alluring adventure through their distinctive repertoire, featuring works by Ewan Campbell, Giles Swayne and Eleanor Alberga.
Eloquently led by guest conductor Anna Lapwood, St Martin’s Voices delve into the cornucopia of choral music by female composers. Lapwood is an outstanding organist, director and broadcaster, also known for her work championing underrepresented voices in classical music. Together with St Martin’s Voices, she explores a radiant programme by composers including Amy Beach and Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw.
St Martin’s Voices and Will Todd Ensemble share an uplifting selection of sacred and secular works, blending choral beauty with jazz vibrancy. Highlights include the Stabat Mater from Todd’s Passion Music, which premiered at St Martin’s in 2018, and the heart-warming Like a rainbow shining, written in support of NHS and keyworkers during the challenging early months of the pandemic.
When Johannes Brahms’ exquisitely moving Ein deutsches Requiem premiered in Bremen Cathedral in 1868, it was complemented by a performance of the beloved Handel aria I know that my redeemer liveth. Inspired by this historic musical pairing, Cecilia McDowall’s unaccompanied choral setting reinterprets the familiar Messiah text, emphasising the themes of tenderness, solace and resilience it shares with Brahms’ masterpiece.