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Tippett Spirituals

  • The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy Savoy Hill London, WC2R 0DA United Kingdom (map)

We are delighted to welcome the Vale of Clywd Singers, with their conductor Robert Sells, to one of our favourite venues, the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy. Their programme is arranged around two great mini song-cycles, Vaughan Williams's Three Shakespeare Songs and Sir Michael Tippett's Five Negro Spirituals. These song-cycles exemplify the depth and variety of twentieth century English composition, each using widely disparate source materials yet each celebrating on the one hand life and humanity and on the other, survival under racial suppression. 

The central block of secular and religious pieces (which finish the first half of the concert) celebrates the works of Edwardian composers (Stanford, Fauré and Harris) with the contrasting contributions of our contemporary musical luminaries, Whitacre, Macmillan and Lauridsen.  In fact, the contrast between the two styles of composition gives way to the beauty of the writing and the sensitive ways in which spiritual subjects are celebrated.

In the group of madrigals which completes this evening's music we have two rich examples of the ‘Triumphs of Oriana’, By East and Weelkes, the selection spiced up by an extraordinary Latin mythical horror story by Gjielo and a heart-rending dirge by the gifted and under-performed Robert Pearsall.


Ralph Vaughan Williams | Three Shakespeare Songs
James Macmillan | The Gallant Weaver
Charles Villiers Stanford | The Bluebird
Gabriel Fauré arr. A L’Estrange | Après un Rêve
Charles Villiers Stanford | Beati quorum via
Eric Whitacre | Lux Aurumque
Morten Lauridsen | O Magnum Mysterium
William Harris | Bring us Oh Lord God


Michael Tippett | Five Negro Spirituals
John Wilbye | Adieu Sweet Amaryllis
Orlando Gibbons | The Silver Swan
Michael East | Hence stars, too dim
Robert Pearsall | Lay a Garland
Thomas Weelkes | As Vesta was from Latmos Hill descending
Ola Gjielo | Unicornis captivatur

The Vale of Clwyd Singers
Conductor — 
Robert Sells

Tickets £23 (premium) £18 (unreserved) £5 (children) — book online now!

Our premium tickets include a reserved seat (this differs per venue according to acoustic, but is usually 3–5 rows from the front, near the centre aisle), a programme, and a voucher for a drink which can be redeemed either before the concert or during the interval.

Earlier Event: October 21
Dvorak Mass in D, Mozart Ave Verum Corpus
Later Event: October 26
Fringe Club!