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The Concert: The Hilliard Ensemble, St Leonard’s, London


What is it? A concert held 40 years to the day after the ensemble’s formation, and part of the Spitalfields Music Winter Festival. The singers performed a range of work from the medieval to a brand new composition by Roger Marsh.

The Independent says: “The Hilliard Ensemble are disbanding after four decades, but they are prefacing this full-stop with a year of concerts … medieval music is what this group have always excelled at and, with their current membership of four augmented by four returners from previous incarnations, they presented a lovely panorama, beginning with organum by Pérotin and continuing – with dips into plainchant – through music’s liberation into polyphony with Victoria and Byrd. The vibrant freshness of their singing, particularly in the lullabys, had Chaucerian charm.”

They say: Evening Standard: “The celebration turned into a reunion … While the voices are no longer youthful, their precision remains intact … Marsh’s Poor Yorick found the Hilliards negotiating its droll text and playful rhythms with deadpan wit. “

You say: @awyliu: “great singers disguised as schoolteachers”

@AbigailPogson: “Happy birthday Hilliard Ensemble! 40 years old today. What a stunning concert as part of #SMWF13. Amazing music making.”