The Renaissance Choir has a well-earned high reputation for the performance of music from the Renaissance as well as for works from later centuries.
We have been singing for more than 40 years and have strong links with local performers and our enthusiastic audience.
We work hard to maintain high standards and quality of performance. We are a friendly choir of about 30-35 voices, and have performed music in both double and triple choir form: we’ve performed both Tallis’s Spem in Alium and Striggio’s 40 part Mass. Particular specialisms include the works of William Byrd, Thomas Tallis and Tómas Luis da Victoria, as well as later composers such as Poulenc, Whitacre and Lauridsen.
Much of the choir’s work is pioneering: in its early years it was highly regarded in Spain for re-introducing the public to composers such as Vivanco and Guerrero; more recently, UK premiers of works by American composers (including Whitacre) have been given. We gave the world premiere of Rodrigo’s ‘Cantico de San Francisco’ at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Successive conductors have recovered “lost” Renaissance works (usually masses) which have frequently been performed for the first time in several hundred years in the city in which they were composed. Examples include masses by Brumel and Josquin (both performed in France), Hammerschmidt (Prague), Comes (Valencia) and Robert Jones (Brecon).
We have toured extensively over many years and has visited the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain and France, performing in wonderful venues such as Notre Dame de Paris, Chartres Cathedral and Jeronimos Abbey, Lisbon. An important aspect of these tours is the forming of links with other choirs. In Budapest, we joined with the world-class Budapest Monteverdi Korus which included the first Anglo-Hungarian performance of Spem in Alium; in Lisbon with Portugal’s premier cathedral choir, the Coro Santa Maria de Belem; and in Krakow with the prize-winning Marianski Choir.
In 2014 we sang in La Coruña (Spain) with the Ludus Tonalis choir and travelled along the Camino de Santiago to sing in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. In 2016, our 40th anniversary year, we visited Rome and sang at a Mass in St Peter’s. In 2019 we are visiting Utrecht, the Netherlands. Our tours include our friends and supporters who also join us for social events throughout the year.
We usually give four or five concerts a year in the Portsmouth area. We also perform in other parts of the south of England. We’ve recently sung in Exeter and Gloucester Cathedrals as well as in Christchurch Priory.
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Charity no. 275475