The London Ripieno Society choir is planning this year to record works of Geoffrey Hanson, the Music Director, and therefore needs to recruit a few more members. No audition. Singing tuition before each rehearsal on Wednesday evenings in Montagu Square.
The London Ripieno Society was founded in 1962 by its present musical director Geoffrey Hanson, who is an established composer and organist. The original aim was to supplement the London musical scene with both interesting and unexplored repertoire, performed by smaller forces than was customary in the 60s. Hence the musical term Ripieno in the Society’s title, meaning ‘supplementary forces’. It was still the fashion in that era for Baroque and Renaissance music to be given in large scale performances. Original instrument groups and small scale performances more truly reflecting composers’ intentions were yet to come. The LRS was to play its part in this movement.
In 1968 the first London performance of Telemann’s St Matthew Passion of 1732 was given by the London Ripieno Society, as part of the Camden Festival. The Guardian’s reviewer thought ‘the performance was admirably conceived...the chorus was fresh and bright toned’.
The London Ripieno Society is now in its fifth decade, with a successful history of public performance. The performing body is made up of an amateur chorus of around 30 members accompanied in concert by professional musicians. Professional soloists, both vocal and instrumental, are employed. Occasionally the group stages opera performances. The Society has premiered two of Geoffrey’s operas,
The Virgin Crown and Cuthman’s Journey and has given concert performances of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Glucks Orfeo and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.
Concerts by the Society have been given in venues ranging from Queen Elizabeth Hall and St John’s Smith Square to small country churches, and occasionally the choir has performed in Italy and France.
The choir sings a mixture of types of music, including compositions by Geoffrey Hanson himself. Geoffrey's music, though tuneful, is modern and sometimes quite difficult and it is therefore very helpful that there is singing tuition provided by a member of the choir who is a singing teacher before every rehearsal. There is no audition.
This year the choir is planning to record some of Geoffrey's works and is therefore recruiting new members, especially tenors and basses, but there are vacancies in all parts. Rehearsals are held in a house in Montagu Square and are very friendly and informal. Although the choir is now quite small, faithful ex-members who have had to move away or become otherwise committed join for concerts to 'stiffen' the choir. They will no doubt be out in force for the recording(s)
There is more information about the history of the choir on the web site at londonripieno.co.uk