(Hey, it’s either this or stare at the wall, though to be fair that’s a close second.)
Here’s how PDtP 2017 panned out:
January arrived like a bucket of cold water in the face but what better way to ease oneself into the New Year than getting tanked up on booze and polyphony by Kirbye, Giovanelli, Stoltzer and many others?
Counterpint in the Cafe had by this time been established as a regular monthly session, so we descended again on the wonderful Travelling Through:
And we even managed to squeeze in a return visit to the Canbury Arms in Kingston:
After our three January sessions had well and truly got the motor running, we were ready for some big stuff in February. So, having had Iberian and Italian Specials back in 2015 & 2016, we finally got around to the masters of the Franco-Flemish school.
Among the many masterpieces was Josquin‘s O benigna (part 3 of Inviolata), which dazzled with its canonic structure and rhythmic complexity, though the altos weren’t particularly happy about their part:
We ended the month with another packed Counterpint in the Cafe session, revisiting some of the PDtP Franco-Flemish hits:
With February being a short month, March’s arrival came too quickly, leaving little time to produce a poster (though we’d have to wait till July for a truly terrible piece of graphic design).
As International Women’s Day falls in March, we celebrated with the inclusion of some absolute winners by women composers:
And of course we were back at Travelling Through for Counterpint in the Cafe:
April’s session proved to be incredibly popular as it was our first session to be dedicated solely to the works of one composer: Tomás Luis de Victoria.
And of course there was another chance to sing his masterworks at Counterpint in the Cafe:
We’ve long established the tradition of dedicating May’s session to madrigals and we were fortunate to be able to hold this year’s session on May Day itself.
I am slowly (verrrrry slowly) getting to actually like some of these infernal fa-la-la-athons, so we included some of them in our Counterpint in the Cafe session, which turned out to be one of our best ever:
June’s session was another corker, from its Bach chorales…
…to its high-flying motets:
And the hot weather couldn’t stop us enjoying our Counterpint in the Cafe session:
I hesitate to even use the word ‘poster’ to describe the pathetic attempt to promote July’s session but it clearly didn’t put off any punters!
The session included stunning works by Byrd, Mouton, Guerrero & Morley, many of which we were able to enjoy in a similarly packed Counterpint in the Cafe session later in the month:
August is traditionally our month off but this year we snuck in a cheeky Counterpint in the Cafe session to give folk their singing and boozing fix:
PDtP triumphantly returned in September with works by Victoria, Zielenski, Crecquillon &, making a relatively rare appearance owing to his largely Baroque shenanigans, Monteverdi.
A masterpiece by Tomkins proved to be extremely tricky but ultimately rewarding:
And of course we had the trusty Counterpint in the Cafe session in which to revisit some of the masterpieces:
October brought our 3rd Birthday Party and we celebrated in style by reprising a masterpiece from each of the previous 12 months’ worth of sessions.
As a bonus, we included a tongue in cheek hint of what’s to come in our 5th Birthday celebrations in 2019:
Counterpint in the Cafe had taken place earlier in the month and we welcomed a newcomer to our singing sessions:
November was busy, busy, busy, with no fewer than four sessions taking place in the month.
First up was the return of the PDtP Double-Choir Special in which we divided the room and doubled the fun!
The very next day (yikes), we returned to Kingston to celebrate 2 years of Counterpint in the venue where it all began, the Canbury Arms.
The following Sunday (utter madness!), we launched PDtP Brighton, our new session on the South Coast! (I think it’s fair to say it was a success…)
And gluttons for punishment that we are, a couple of days later we held our November Counterpint in the Cafe:
With a stubborn refusal to learn from November’s knackering schedule, we launched into a packed month of seasonal singing in December.
First up was our ever popular Christmas Special, which brought us tinsel-tinged masterpieces from Praetorius, Palestrina, Bodenschatz & Victoria, among others.
As it was Christmas, we passed around the bucket and collected over £350 for good causes!
The following week, we collected even more during a carol and motets session in London Bridge:
Then, after our final Counterpint in the Cafe for 2017…
…we took ourselves over to Borough Market to get Londoners singing and to raise even more money for charity!
It was a lovely, lovely way to finish off a year of great singing and thanks again to all of you who gave up your time to take part.
We will of course be back in the New Year with more PDtP London, PDtP Brighton, Counterpint & Counterpint in the Cafe (details to follow shortly), but for the moment, I want to wish all our PDtP/Conterpint friends a very Happy New Year and I look forward to singing with you all again soon.