The English Concert will culminate the year with a return appearance at Spitalfields. Former Associate Artists at the eclectic Summer Festival in London’s East End, the orchestra will appear during the more intimate Winter Festival on 17 December at Christ Church in Spitalfields. Directed by frequent collaborator Laurence Cummings, the seasonal baroque programme will feature Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, and two magnificent choral works by J.S. Bach.
Corelli’s popular Christmas Concerto, or Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8, Fatto per la notte di Natale ("Made for the night of Christmas"), was published as part of the composer’s Twelve Concerti Grossi, Op. 6. Long a staple of The English Concert’s repertoire, the orchestra recorded the work for Deutsche Grammophon with founder Trevor Pinnock in 1999.
The Choir of The English Concert joins the orchestra for two works by J.S. Bach written during the composer’s fruitful tenure in Leipzig: the church cantata Schwingt freudig euch empor (Soar joyfully upwards), written for the first Sunday in Advent; and the grand Magnificat written for the Christmas Vespers. The soloists are all members of the choir.
The Christmas concert at Spitalfields Music Winter Festival rounds out a year that has brought the renowned English Concert and its Choir continued accolades and drawn in new audiences both in the UK and abroad. This past summer the combined forces triumphed at the BBC Proms in a live telecast performance of J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass which The Daily Telegraph called “a remarkable evening. A very remarkable evening. An exceptionally remarkable evening.” Other highlights have included a successful master class for aspiring baroque directors at the Foundling Museum; a return to Handel House for a five-day residency, and the orchestra’s season opening concert at the Wigmore Hall with soprano Caroline Sampson, which was followed by a Far East tour with stops in Macau, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Taipei. The English Concert has also expanded their regional touring this season with performances at St. George’s Bristol, Crawley’s Hawth Studio, the Hexagon in Reading and the Sheldonian in Oxford.
The English Concert was founded in 1973 by Trevor Pinnock and is among the world’s finest chamber orchestras, combining sheer joy in music-making with technical brilliance that makes their performances and recordings benchmarks of excellence. The orchestra began a new era in 2007 with the appointment of Harry Bicket, a conductor of exceptional range and broad musical sympathies.
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The English Concert
Spitalfields Music Winter Festival
Monday, 17 December 2012
Christ Church, Spitalfields
Corelli Christmas Concerto
J. S. Bach Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36
Emma Brain-Gabbott and Natalie Clifton-Griffith, sopranos ? Timothy Travers-Brown, counter-tenor ? Samuel Boden, tenor ? Robert Rice, bass
J. S. Bach Magnificat in D major, BWV 243
Emma Brain-Gabbott, Alicia Carroll, Natalie Clifton-Griffith and Rebecca Outram, sopranos ? Timothy Travers-Brown and Carris Jones, altos ? Samuel Boden, Nick Pritchard and Richard Rowntree, tenors ? Chris Sheldrake and Michael Wallace, basses
Laurence Cummings director