Some non-PDtP dates for your diaries

While you’re waiting for our next PDtP, here are a few other events that may be of interest.

On Friday June 10th, our friends in the Orlando Chamber Choir are performing a concert of music by composers who had run-ins with the authorities at some point in their lives.

It’s a great programme of music by a wide range of composers, from Gesualdo to Tippett. Of particular note for PDtP fans is Lugebat David Absalon by Gombert*, a contrafactum (same music, different text) of his Tulerunt dominum meum, which proved to be such a hit at our double choir special. (We’ll be including Lugebat in a future PDtP session as it has a fabulous second part that Tulerunt lacks.) Details for the concert are here. 

On Sunday June 19th, the marvellous City Bach Collective are performing Cantata BWV 177 as part of their one voice per part Bach Vespers series. The cantata forms the central part of a Lutheran vespers service, which includes music by JSB’s predecessors and contemporaries as well.

I’ve said it many times before and I will keep saying it for a long time to come: these (free) performances constitute music making of the highest order and anyone who loves Bach should not miss them. Details here.

Looking further ahead, on Friday/Saturday September 2nd/3rd, a very special come and sing event is taking place. Requiem to Cancer will see singers get together in St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden to rehearse and perform 3 settings of the Requiem Mass, by Mozart, Duruflé & Chilcott, over a period of 24 hours.

As you may have guessed from the title, the proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK. It’s a wonderful event being organised by some of our PDtP/Counterpint singers so please so sign up or donate as you can; details here.

Now, at PDtP, we’re also very happy to highlight upcoming events by other wonderful groups, even when they clash with our own sessions! After all, we’re all about spreading the singing love.

If you’re not coming to PDtP on June 13th** then you might like to consider a workshop of Portuguese polyphony, given by the fantastic Siglo de Oro.

I’m a huge admirer of these young singers and you couldn’t be in safer hands. The rep includes PDtP favourite the 6 part Kyrie from Cardoso‘s Requiem, among other gems; details here.

Similarly, though we haven’t confirmed September’s PDtP date yet (I barely know what I’m doing next week), it may well end up being Monday the 12th, which means it would clash with a choral workshop of Great Fire of London-themed choral music with the Renaissance Singers; details here.

That’s it – hope you manage to get to some of the events above and looking forward to seeing some of you at PDtP.



*You really don’t want to know why Gombert was locked up.

**PDtP June 13th update as at 1pm, May 30th: all tenor/bass spots taken (waiting list in place); 4 soprano and 3 alto spots left.




You’ve converted me

And I didn’t see it coming.

As you may have guessed from the title of last week’s PDtP, I’ve never been a huge fan of English madrigals.

In fact, for me they were a necessary evil – after all, you can’t really do a survey of Renaissance repertoire without them – rather than music that anyone would actually sing willingly. (Not sure why I have such a strong dislike; maybe I’m allergic to nonsense lyrics.)

However, following our session, I’ve seen the light; it’s clear there are at least 13 of them that are actually damn good, and some of them even approach the exquisiteness of form and expression that is more often found in our sacred repertoire.

This is all down to the commitment and verve that you demonstrated in busking through them, so much so that it ended up being one of the best sessions we’ve had.

As always, I’ll let some of those who were there sum it up:

(That’s all right, Alex; we won’t tell anyone.)

And once again, my favourite part of the evening was the ‘after-hours’ session, when we revisited the best pieces as a much smaller group.

Thanks again to all who came – and for showing me that there is such a thing as a good madrigal. (You just have to search hard for it.)

Next session is tentatively scheduled for June 13th; will confirm later this week and post the booking link at the same time.

I’m also hoping to make a special Counterpint announcement in the next day or so, so keep an eye out.






Is it possible to overdose on twee?

If so, I’ve come dangerously close over the past few weeks, wading through scores and scores of English madrigals, picking out the very best (or the least sickly sweet) for our session next week.

Before we get on to the links to the music, though, I should just remind everyone that we are fully booked for next Monday.

If you’ve registered but are now unsure as to whether or not you’ll definitely be able to make it, please cancel your booking ASAP but definitely no later than Sunday evening – cancelling on the day doesn’t leave us enough time to fill the gap and it’s not fair to the people on the waiting list.

Please don’t send an e-mail – just cancel via the Log in link under Your Account in the confirmation e-mail you received when you booked:

Your account.jpg.png

OK, with that out of the way, you’ll find the links to the scores in the usual place.

There’s a mix of well-known numbers, some of which we’ve sung before, and a few lesser-known gems that I hope you’ll enjoy busking through.

That’s it – looking forward to seeing many of you on Monday.




3 updates for the price of 1

There’s been a lot going on with PDtP/CP in the past couple of weeks, so much so that we haven’t had a chance to get in touch with you – so here’s a review of our last couple of sessions plus a heads-up  on the next one.

Counterpint April 21st, the Punch Tavern

We we enjoyed a great night at the Punch for another Counterpint, despite the fact that we had competition on the raucousness front…

This didn’t stop us from getting stuck in in our usual fashion – a few top Bach chorales to get us going and then a dive into the treasures of the Renaissance. And bowls of chips.

It was a fantastic atmosphere on the night, helped no doubt by a good split between regulars and new faces. Thanks again to all who came and we hope to be back at the Punch soon.

Polyphony Down the Pub at Travelling Through, April 25th

As the Horse and Stables were booked up, we had the chance to try out a new venue: the cafe of the excellent Travelling Through bookshop on Lower Marsh.

Once again, we defied probability to come up with a great night of singing. Owing to the smaller space, we had fewer voices than usual but that only seemed to add to the magic of the experience.

Highlights for me were the gorgeous 7 part Ego flos campi by Clemens non Papa and the final run-through of Handl’s Ecce quomodo moritur justus, though there were many more besides.

All in all, it was a great evening and Travelling Through are keen to have us back so watch this space for future announcements.

Next PDtP session

I can finally confirm May’s PDtP details: Monday May 16th, back at the Horse & Stables. It will be madrigal-themed (lawks!), but I hope it’ll be largely bearable.

I’m sure there’ll be room for everyone who wants to come but just to give everyone a fair chance, booking goes live via this page at 8pm on Monday May 2nd.

(Also hope to announce a May CP session soon…)

That’s it for now – thanks again to everyone who came along to our April sessions and hope to see you soon.