Best. PDtP. Ever. (Possibly.)

Still reeling from just how good last night’s session was. So many phenomenal moments, but those that linger in the mind were the heart-meltingly beautiful Verdelot Beata es Virgo (particularly the post-10pm run-throughs) and the mighty, mighty sound of 60 singers giving a spine-tingling rendition of Gallus‘ Duo Seraphim.

Even trickier numbers such as the Victoria Lauda Sion went from not-so-good to actually-pretty-bloody-awesome after only 2 or 3 attempts.

And what a great atmosphere throughout the night – there was a real buzz about the room as we busked through these masterpieces.

Thanks to all who came, whether old hands or new faces, from nearby or indeed not so nearby…

Our final PDtP session of the season is pencilled in for July 11th but this is still TBC; an update will follow in the next few days.

However, what I can confirm is some very exciting news: following the tremendous success of our April PDtP session in Travelling Through, we now have a monthly Counterpint residency in the venue. (Yes, they really want us back!)

We’ll be revisiting the very best of previous PDtP sessions, in a smaller, more intimate setting (though still with booze).

The first of these Counterpint in the Café sessions is 6pm next Tuesday, June 21st. Spaces are extremely limited and booking goes live at 10 am tomorrow (Wednesday June 15th).

(Please note the early arrival time and booking conditions on the Eventbrite page.)

That’s it for the moment – thanks again for your support.



PS Don’t forget to tell everyone you know in Sheffield that they simply must not miss out on our session up there on July 5th.




PDtP 21 scores now ready

Yes, I’m thrilled too.

On the set-list are 2 or 3 previous hits (including 2 double-choir stunners and even a madrigal!), alongside fresh masterpieces from Lassus, Regnart, Verdelot & Palestrina. Some of them are on the tricksy side but that’s OK because you guys laugh in the face of tricksiness.

Oh, and the Bach chorales are back after last month’s absence, which is reason enough to break out the champagne.

You’ll find the scores via the usual link. Just a reminder that the session is fully booked up, with people on the waiting list, so if you have registered are in any way unsure that you’ll be able to make it, please cancel so that someone can take your place.

Final note for tonight – if you have singing friends/family/colleagues/acquaintances in or around Sheffield, do tell them about our special session up there on July 5th. We’ve got a good few signed up already but there’s still room for plenty more so please get the word out via Twitter, Facebook and carrier pigeon.



L̶o̶n̶d̶o̶n̶’̶s̶ The UK’s Favourite Night of Renaissance Motets & Booze!™

You guessed it – after many, many months of talking about it, we are finally taking our bonkers pub-based choral extravaganza on tour to different parts of the UK, sharing far and wide the PDtP love (or misery, whichever way you prefer to look at it).

Plans include visits to Oxford and Milton Keynes among others but first up is Sheffield on Tuesday July 5th at the Fat Cat pub.

Details on this session are available on this page so please tell (warn?) your singing friends in Sheffield or thereabouts and make sure they don’t miss out!





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.