Back to All Events

Gesualdo Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday

  • St Stephen Walbrook 39 Walbrook London EC4N 8BN United Kingdom (map)
choir pic.jpg

This programme explores three monumental works composed at the end of the 16th century for the days leading up to Easter that could not be more different.

First, the Iken Scholars will perform the rarely heard Phinot Lamentations. So rarely heard in fact, that an edition of the music has been prepared especially for this concert. They show the Franco-Flemish composer at his very best as the alternating choirs become increasingly enmeshed as he builds the complexity and beauty of his polyphony.

Next come the Gesualdo's Responsories for Holy Saturday that were composed in the aristocratic Gesualdo's estate in southern Italy, where he had retreated to dedicate his life to music after a scandal surrounding the death (at his own hands) of his wife and her lover in Napels. Gesualdo employs the most modern effects of harmony and rhythm that make his music sound as fresh and unexpected today as they did at their first performance four centuries ago.

Finally, Lobo's Lamenations create a serine and monumental effect, gently building up to a dramatic climax some 15 minutes into this astonishing piece.

Established in 2012, the Iken Scholars are a London-based chamber choir dedicated to exploring hidden corners of the Renaissance repertoire. Recent performances at the Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St Paul’s Cathedral have included masses and motets unheard in 400 years, as well as large-scale masterpieces from the central canon. Primarily focused on presenting unusual concerts in the capital, the choir is increasingly in demand in London’s cathedrals and further afield. The group is made up of singers from London and close by, and is directed by Matthew Dunn.

Victoria | Versa est in luctum
Phinot | De lamentatione Ieremiæ Prophetæ
Gesualdo | Tenebrae Responsoria del Sabato Sancto
Lobo | Versa est in luctum
Lobo | De lamentatione Ieremiæ Prophetæ

Iken Scholars
Matthew Dunn
— Conductor

Tickets £23 (premium) £18 (unreserved) £5 (children) — call our box office on 07528 776625 or 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: February 5
Fauré Requiem by candlelight
Later Event: February 16
Brahms Requiem