2019 Festival Programme

WORDS AND MUSIC
Voice and Verse

Thursday 20 June, 7.30pm (with interval)

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

Tickets £20 (includes interval drinks)

A collection of treasured poems by authors spanning the centuries from William Shakespeare – who lived near St Giles - to Mary Coleridge, all set to music by equally beloved nineteenth and twentieth century composers. The programme closes with Hubert Parry’s marvellous Blest pair of sirens with words by John Milton, whose 'harmonious sisters, Voice and Vers' from At a solemn musick give this concert its title.  As the final chords fade away, spare a thought for the poet himself who lies buried in the crypt below.


Finzi My spirit sang all day (Robert Bridges)
Stanford The blue bird (Mary Coleridge)
Sterndale Bennett Come live with me (Christopher Marlowe)
Vaughan Williams Three Shakespeare songs
Pearsall Lay a garland (Beaumont & Fletcher)
Elgar As torrents in summer (Henry Longfellow)
Vaughan Williams Five mystical songs (excerpts) (George Herbert)
Britten Rejoice in the Lamb (Christopher Smart)
Harris Faire is the heaven (Edmund Spenser)
Elgar The shower & The fountain (Henry Vaughan)
Parry Blest pair of sirens (John Milton)

City of London Choir
Richard Gowers, organ
Thomas Humphreys, baritone
Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor

Star Cross'd Lovers

Friday 21 June, 7.00pm (no interval)

St Stephen Walbrook

Songs of true love and devotion by Campion, Dowland, Humfrey and Purcell performed with extraordinary purity of sound in the exquisite round of St Stephen’s Walbrook by renowned baroque specialist soprano Grace Davidson, accompanied by lutenist David Miller.  With its circular, white marble Henry Moore altar bathed in the light of a lantern-like dome, this church provides one of the City’s most spectacular venues.

John Dowland Awake, sweet love, thou art return'd; Come again, sweet love doth now invite 

Thomas Campion Never weather-beaten Saile; Author of Light

John Dowland Preludium; The Frog Galliard

John Dowland Now, oh now I needs must part; Come away, come sweet love

Anon Miserere, my Maker

John Dowland A Fancy; In this trembling shadow

Pelham Humfrey Sleep downy sleep, come close mine eyes; Hymn to God the Father

Henry Purcell Not all my torments; If music be the food of love

Henry Purcell Sleep, Adam, Sleep, and take thy rest; An Evening Hymn
 

Grace Davidson, soprano
David Miller, lute and theorbo

Mad Dogs & Englishmen 

Saturday 22 June, 7.30pm (with interval)

St Mary le Bow

Tickets £20 (includes interval drinks)

Mary Carewe, soprano
Michael Dore, baritone
Philip Mayers, piano

From green, rolling hills to thrilling, historic London; from seaside to stage... this is a celebration of the peculiarly English way of life - and love. With music by composers including Henry Purcell, Noel Coward, Lennon and McCartney, Benjamin Britten, William Walton and Elton John; and words by T.S. Eliot, John Masefield, W.H. Auden, John Dryden, Don Black and William Shakespeare.

Rhyme William Walton/Trad                      
The Bells Of St Mary’s A.Emmett Adams/Douglas Furber
Sea Fever John Ireland/John Masefield
O Waly Waly  Trad/arr. Benjamin Britten
And Her Mother Came Too Ivor Novello/Dion Titheradge

At My Time O’ Life T.W Connor
Charming Weather  Lionel Monckton/Arthur Wimperis

I Could Be Happy With You Sandy Wilson
Gus The Theatre Cat Andrew Lloyd-Webber/T. S. Eliot
Mrs Worthington Noel Coward

Mad About The Boy Noel Coward

London Pride Noel Coward

A London Scrapbook:

No Place Like London Stephen Sondheim
London Is London John Williams/Leslie Bricusse

My Love Went To London Tony Scibetta/John Wallowitch

A Foggy Day George & Ira Gershwin

London By Night Carroll Coates

Greensleeves & Scarborough Fair Trad
Oliver Cromwell Benjamin Britten/Trad
Johnny Benjamin Britten/W H Auden
Feste’s Songs Nigel Hess/William Shakespeare

Live With Me And Be My Love George Shearing/William Shakespeare

Fie On Sinful Fantasy George Shearing/William Shakespeare
Music For A While Henry Purcell/John Dryden         
Eleanor Rigby John Lennon/Paul McCartney
The Man With The Child In His Eyes Kate Bush
Your Song  Elton John/Bernie Taupin

Diamonds are forever John Barry/Don Black
Who Can I Turn To?/What kind of fool am I? Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse
Mad Dogs and Englishmen Noel Coward          

Shakespeare: Take Him For All in All

Sunday 23 June, 2.30pm

Walking Tour 

Tickets £12 (concessions £9)

He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
(Hamlet Act One, Scene Two)

 

While Shakespeare is the stuff of legend, he was in so many ways a typical Londoner. Though an incomer, he became part of the London scene; though he rarely wrote about London, his plays are full of characters and situations his fellow citizens would recognise from their own daily lives.

In fact, to explore the story of Shakespeare in London is also to appreciate an exciting time in the City’s development, a time of social advancement and international development, with London at the centre of England’s coming of age.

Choral Evensong: One Equal Music

Sunday 23 June, 5.30pm   

 

St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street

No entry charge

Choral Evensong with Sermon in music 


Responses: Smith 
Psalm 57 
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: Stanford in B flat

Hymns: 
Who would true valour see (words: John Bunyan; tune: Monk's Gate,

R. Vaughan Williams)
All my hope on God is founded (words: Robert Bridges; tune: Michael, H. Howells)

Sermon in Music: 

At the round earth's imagined corners (words: John Donne; music: Hubert Parry)

Litany to the Holy Spirit (words: Robert Herrick; music: Peter Hurford)

Bring us, O Lord (words: John Donne; music: William Harris)

 

The Choir of St Bride's Fleet Street
Robert Jones - Director of Music
Matthew Morley - Organ

 

Let Us Garlands Bring

 

Monday 24 June, 6.45pm (no interval)

St Lawrence Jewry

Tickets £15

In the magnificent setting of Wren’s most lavish restoration - the church of St Lawrence Jewry - husband and wife musicians Thomas Humphreys (baritone) and Raya Kostova (piano) perform an evocative and romantic programme in this early evening concert.  The five English composers were direct contemporaries (1870s-1960s) and in this recital we hear their magically lyrical settings of Shakespeare songs along with poems by some of our favourite poets, including John Masefield and Rupert Brooke.

Includes:

Vaughan Williams Silent Noon (Dante Gabriel Rossetti)

Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Finzi Let us garlands bring: Five Shakespeare Songs

Quilter​ Blow, blow, thou winter wind (Shakespeare)

John Ireland The Soldier (Rupert Brooke)

John Ireland Sea Fever (John Masefield)

Thomas Humphreys, baritone

Raya Kostova, piano

All The World's A Stage

Tuesday 25 June, 1.00pm (no interval)

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

Tickets £15

This perfect lunchtime concert offers immersive aural respite from the visual glare of the modern working day.  The exciting young Italian pianist Nicola Losito performs a ravishing programme including two well-known ballet adaptations: Prokofiev’s own dramatic piano version of his ballet suite Romeo and Juliet and piano master Mikhail Pletnev’s version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.  With a nod to Dame Myra Hess and friends’ famous capacity lunchtime concerts at the National Gallery held throughout the Second World War, Nicola also plays Hess’s own adaptation of Bach’s profoundly moving Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.  


Nicola Losito is supported by the Keyboard Charitable Trust
 

J. S. Bach/M. Hess 'Jesus bleibet meine Freunde' BWV 147
Brahms Ballade op.10 no.1: 'Nach der schottischen Ballade: Edward'
Liszt Après une lecture du Dante. Fantasia quasi Sonata, S. 161
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet op.75
Tchaikovsky/Pletnev The Nutcracker Suite      

 

Nicola Losito, piano         

Echoes of Shakespeare I

Tuesday 25 June, 2.30pm

Walking Tour

Tickets £9 (concessions £7)

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
(Sonnet 18)

While Shakespeare referred in this most famous of his sonnets to the power of poetry to immortalise the beloved, the City of London itself bears a wealth of reminders to the presence of William Shakespeare.

This tour explores a small part of the City which - with the help of readings - evokes the life and work of arguably the greatest writer in the English language.

 

As his friend and contemporary Ben Jonson said of Shakespeare, 'He was not of an age but for all time!'

 

Meet outside the entrance to St Giles, Cripplegate (at the Barbican Centre; nearest station Barbican). The tour will take approximately 90 minutes, and finishes near St Paul's Underground Station.

There is a second chance to take this tour on Thursday 27th June: Echoes of Shakespeare II

Beethoven: The Man Revealed

Tuesday 25 June, 6.45pm

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

Free admission​

Writer and broadcaster John Suchet introduces the evening's concert with a talk on Beethoven the man: the complex, tortured, passionate man behind some of the greatest music ever written.

Beethoven Piano Concertos

Tuesday 25 June, 7.30pm (with interval)

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

Tickets £20 (includes interval drinks)

St Giles Cripplegate provides the backdrop for this extraordinary opportunity to hear two of Beethoven’s majestic piano concertos in their arrangements for piano and string quintet. His last piano concerto, No 5 or The Emperor, is one of the piano repertoire’s most demanding but glorious works here performed by renowned French pianist Elizabeth Sombart.

 

Beethoven Piano Concertos no. 1 and 5 (‘Emperor’) in the string quintet arrangement

Elizabeth Sombart, piano

Principals of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

 

Elégie: Rachmaninoff, A Heart in Exile 

 

Wednesday 26 June, 7.30pm (with interval)

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

Tickets £20 (includes interval drinks)

 

Lucy Parham, piano
Tim McInnerny, narrator*

Known internationally for her ‘Composer Portraits’ in words and music, pianist Lucy Parham has created a new programme, Elégie, chronicling the life of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. Though he became an exile in 1917, Russia remained deeply rooted in his soul. His cultural identity and his longing for his homeland imbue his music, not least the many much-loved works he wrote for his own instrument, the piano. The narrative, scripted from letters and diaries, follows Rachmaninoff from his youth in Russia, through his subsequent self-imposed exile in 1917 and finally to California USA, where he died in 1943.

The concert includes many of his best-loved works for solo piano, including a selection of Préludes, Etudes-Tableaux and Moments Musicaux, some of his own transcriptions and the haunting Elégie, as well as works by Scriabin and Tchaikovsky.

Capturing the Castle

Thursday 27 June, 1.00pm (no interval)

St Lawrence Jewry

Tickets £15 

A lunchtime programme of evocative works for solo piano with eclectic literary connections. John Ireland's haunting portrait of Guernsey is laced with references to Pomponius Mela, Swinburne and Victor Hugo, while Robert Matthew-Walker conjures in music perhaps the greatest of all Shakespearean tragedies. Bach and Debussy are the soundtrack to growing up and falling in love in heady high summer for Cassandra Mortmain, heroine of Dodie Smith's coming of age classic, I Capture the Castle. 

Egon Petri/JS Bach Sheep May safely graze
Debussy Clair de Lune
Debussy Prélude ‘La Cathédrale engloutie’
Robert Matthew-Walker Piano Sonata ‘Hamlet’
John Ireland Sarnia - an Island Sequence 

Mark Bebbington, piano

Echoes of Shakespeare

Thursday 27 June, 2.30pm

Walking Tour

Tickets £9 (concessions £7)

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
(Sonnet 18)

While Shakespeare referred in this most famous of his sonnets to the power of poetry to immortalise the beloved, the City of London itself bears a wealth of reminders to the presence of William Shakespeare.

This tour explores a small part of the City which - with the help of readings - evokes the life and work of arguably the greatest writer in the English language.

 

As his friend and contemporary Ben Jonson said of Shakespeare, 'He was not of an age but for all time!'

 

Meet outside the entrance to St Giles, Cripplegate (at the Barbican Centre; nearest station Barbican). The tour will take approximately 90 minutes, and finishes near St Paul's Underground Station.

Façade & Carnival of the Animals

 

Thursday 27 June, 7.30pm (with interval)

St Lawrence Jewry

Tickets £20 (includes interval drinks)

Displaying a wonderful and vivid musical imagination, Saint-Saëns wrote his light-hearted suite Le carnaval des animaux in 1886 with an unusual scoring for two pianists, a sparse string section, glass harmonica and a xylophone. His imagined sounds from elegant swans, roaring lions, rattling dinosaur bones to a fishy pellucid underwater world are now often heard interspersed with the witty poems of Ogden Nash who wrote these companions to the music in 1949.  By contrast, Edith Sitwell’s near nonsense poems entitled Façade: An Entertainment provided the starting point for William Walton’s accompaniments. The two are cleverly interwoven and performed together with the spoken words fitting amusingly over rhythm and melody.

Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals
Walton Façade - an Entertainment (words: Edith Sitwell)

Samuel West and Rosalind Dobson, narrators*

Ben Pope, conductor

London Mozart Players

A Midsummer Night's Serenade

Friday 28 June, 7.30pm (with interval)

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

Tickets £20 (includes interval drinks)

Fittingly, a veritable banquet of Shakespeare concludes the 2019 festival in this most special venue, his local church. In 1842, Felix Mendelssohn wrote the ravishing incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is here performed alongside words (excerpts in abridged form) spoken by the multi-faceted actor Tama Matheson, whom we also hear in Walton’s Henry V Suite.  Vaughan Williams adapts text from The Merchant of Venice for his Serenade to Music; fans of his composition The Lark Ascending will rejoice in his scoring, in particular the solo violin, but here with the added power of chorus, soloists and profoundly beautiful words:


How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.

Walton Henry V Suite
Finzi Love’s Labours Lost
Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music 

​Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream

London Mozart Players
City of London Choir
Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor
Tama Matheson, narrator*
Rebecca Bottone, soprano
Maya Wheeler-Colwell, mezzo soprano

Support

We are deeply grateful to CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, M&G Investments, the John Ireland Trust, the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust, the Keyboard Charitable Trust, Jaques Samuels Pianos and all our supporters for making this first year of Summer Music in City Festivals possible. We are grateful to the clergy, churchwardens and administrators of St Giles Cripplegate, St Bartholomew the Great, St Stephen Walbrook, St Mary-le-Bow and St Bride's for all their help and support.

© 2018 by Summer Music in City Churches

Website by Orchid Media

All photos by Helen Hooker

'Words & Music' calligraphy by Rosalind Wyatt

Artistic Directors: Jenny Robinson and Ian Maclay (Kestrel Music Promotions)

Follow us on social media
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon