collegium musicum of london chamber choir

president: Laszlo Heltay; patrons: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE, Jonathan Dove; musical director: Greg Morris

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russell du plessis

The choir's Musical Director,
Greg Morris

london chamber choir

Sabine Birch
Voice: soprano
Nationality: German
Occupation: teacher
Started singing: in the pram
Favourite music: Lieder by Schubert and Schumann
Fave composer: Mozart, Schubert, Brahms
Fave singer: Fischer-Dieskau
Fave CML concert: Deutsches Requiem by Brahms
Hobbies: Making music with my children at home and performing in shows at school

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Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir - future concerts

CML's future concerts


In a letter to a frend dated July 1910, Sergei Rachmaninov wrote: 'I have long thought about the (St John) Liturgy, and I have long aimed at reproducing it. I took it up rather by chance and immediately got carried away. After that, I finished it very quickly. Not for a long time…have I written anything with such pleasure.’

Rachmaninov had composed the piece at his summer estate Ivanovka, following his American tour of 1909. After the work premiered on November 1910, in Moscow, the Russian Orthodox ecclesiastical authorities strongly objected to the work's "spirit of modernism" and refused to sanction it for use during church services.

Official rejection notwithstanding, the piece is a sublime, mesmeric setting which both transports and elevates the listener. Rachmaninov, paying particular attention to the meaning of the text, emphasises the most emotive moments with unexpected harmonic, rhythmic and metric changes, prompting the listener to experience the drama of the Orthodox service through the music alone.

Collegium Musicum of London’s performance, under conductor Greg Morris, offers a rare opportunity to hear this neglected masterpiece – a striking testament to a composer, at the height of his powers, wonderfully incorporating Orthodox Russian chant into the rich, late romantic nationalist tradition.

Alongside the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, CML presents – by way of a complete contrast – Bach’s virtuosic Violin Partita in D minor, performed by the talented leader of The Gabrieli Consort, Catherine Martin.

Saturday, 18 October
St John’s Church,
Lansdowne Crescent
Notting Hill
London W11 2NN

Tickets 12.00,
9.00 concessions
available on the door, in
advance or on the day of the
concert on 07812 599340


Masters of Baroque
music by Handel, Bach and Purcell
Saturday, November 29, 2014
St James's, Piccadilly

A short acapella programme on the music of light
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 6.30pm
Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Exmouth Martket, London EC1

Bach: Magnificat
An all-Bach programme of accompanied choral music
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015, 7pm
St Sepulchre's Church, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1

A programme of choral and instrumental works inspired by light
September 26, 2015
Venue TBA

Brahms Requiem
A programme of choral and instrumental music by Brahms
St James's Church, Piccadilly
6 December, 2015, 7.30pm

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