Final chance to hear some great music-making

I was very sad to learn yesterday that the future of the excellent Bach Vespers at St Mary-at-Hill is in doubt, following the news that Martin Knizia, the series’ director, is returning to Germany.

Knizia’s final Vespers, directing his Sweelinck Ensemble and some excellent singers, takes place this evening at 18:30; details here. 

Those of you who follow the PDtP Twitter feed will know that I have recommended these Vespers performances over the past few months so I urge you to ignore (nay, defy!) the rain and get yourself over to St Mary-at-Hill for your last chance to hear one of these very fine performances of the music of JSB.




Wow – now that’s what I call going out in style!

PDtP's summer sizzler

What a big, big finish to the season!

Many thanks to all who came, whether you dropped in for a quick motet or stayed to the bitter end – or perhaps I should say the end of the bitter, as we drank through a couple of casks of ale, apparently!

By my reckoning, we welcomed around 50 singers in all, which is by far the most popular session we’ve had in a long time. Whatever the number, you made a big sound, so much so that at times we drowned out the stereo downstairs.PDtP's summer sizzler 2

Thanks too to our wonderful guest conductors, Laura, Kathryn and Lucy, bravely standing up in front of a bunch of alcohol-fuelled singers and keeping you all in line.

We also made Twitter history (probably) by providing the world with the first live tweeting on the progress of a 16th Century motet – we truly are innovating in all sorts of incredibly useful ways.

Live tweets - , yes it really was that thrilling!
Live tweets – yes, it really was that thrilling!

We were fortunate to have 4 or 5 ‘audience members’ last night, all of whom were effusive in their praise for the sound you made, which is very nice to hear.

Oh, and by the way, if any of you are in choirs short on basses, send your recruiting officers around to PDtP as we have them in plentiful supply!

PDtP's summer sizzler 3

Highlights for me were of course BWV 437 (very well done for getting through it!), the Mouton Ave Maria and de la Rue’s Incessament; drop a comment below to let me know which numbers you particularly enjoyed.

We are taking a short break for the summer, during which we will research some more wonderful music for later in the year. Dates for September and October will be published towards the end of August so please keep an eye out for updates. (Don’t forget that we are also on Twitter: @pubpolyphony)

Looking further ahead, future themes will include the return of our Christmas Special, as well as sessions focussing on the Italian and Iberian Masters; we will also need something big for our 1st Birthday Extravaganza in October so please do drop us a line with your suggestions, including links to free sheet music whenever possible.

We’ll also be working with our non-London/SE friends to try to set up PDtP sessions elsewhere in the UK and internationally; I don’t know about you, but I am very excited by the prospect of a PDtP network!

Finally, if you enjoy PDtP, please do shout about us to all your singing friends as we want to welcome as many people as we can to these sessions!

Many thanks again to you all and look forward to seeing you after the break.


PS I’ll no doubt still be annoying you all with the odd post during the break and I’m always happy to hear your thoughts in return…

Tonight’s the night!

Looking forward to tonight’s session – numbers are looking good, with some new faces making an appearance, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing out the season with a bang and defying the current weather with some radiant singing.

Just a wee reminder that you need to grab the sheet music from here (there are 16 docs in all) and print them out or save them to tablet.

Also, basses and baritones, don’t forget that I’ll be asking some of you to sing tenor tonight – I know you are up to the task!

See you at 7!


Yikes – two late, late additions

Apologies for shoving them in at the last minute but I have just uploaded an extra couple of motets for tomorrow’s session, as it occurred to me that we simply couldn’t finish our season without two of the very greatest Renaissance masters being represented, namely William Byrd & Tomas Luis de Victoria.

We have also had a last-minute deluge of soprano sign-ups (hurrah) so it makes sense for us to try out at least one SSATB.

Grab the new additions from here and see you tomorrow.



Thanks for your patience!

The sheet music for Monday’s PDtP is now ready to go so grab it from here.

I’ve carried over 2 or 3 winners from last time (including the very rude Lassus – only because you all seemed to connect with it so well!) alongside the new ones.

Late notice, I know, but if there was one that you might have a chance to look at over the weekend, then make it BWV 437.

It’s not like the cantata chorales that we usually sing; it’s actually Bach’s harmonisation of the Lutheran Creed and is therefore slightly longer and a bit more intricate than we are used to.

I’d really like to get it as right as we can on the night so you might find singing along with this video helpful:

That’s it – have a great weekend and see you Monday!



PS As a heads-up to 1st Basses/Baritones, I might ask some of you join in with the Tenors on Monday if you can

Just a reminder…

…(as if you needed one) that there’s just a week to go till our final PDtP of the season.

There’s still time to sign up and/or suggest a motet/madrigal/chanson/chorale for inclusion. We probably won’t be exploring the multi-choir repertoire this time around (unless this post leads to a sudden last minute rush) but the stuff we have on the slate should still be fun to sing.

Sheet music will be uploaded Wednesday or Thursday at the latest and will include an extended Bach chorale that I hope you might be able to look at in advance.

Other than that, hope to see you Monday and don’t forget to tell all your friends about London’s favourite night of Renaissance motets & booze!™