Hampstead Parish Church Choir

Martindale Sidwell was appointed to Hampstead in 1946, at a time when its strong musical tradition had been decimated as a by-product of the hostilities.

HPCC 1949

The Hampstead Parish Church Choir, c.1949

In a remarkably short period he established the choir of men and boys as one of the finest in the country, not excluding cathedrals. In the 1950s it made broadcasts and recordings (with conductors of the stature of Otto Klemperer) and appeared at the Royal Festival Hall and the Wigmore Hall, as well as touring in Europe. Some of these trips were made in connection with the Oecumenical Fellowship of Boys' Choirs in Worship, on whose committee Sidwell sat for a time. The fellowship fostered contacts between boys' choirs all over Europe.

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Martindale Sidwell with Hampstead Parish Church Choir, the steps of Unser Lieben Frauen Kirche, Bremen, 1955.

HPCCandBremen1958

In 1958 the choir of Unser Lieben Frauen Kirche, Bremen paid a return visit - in some force! Click the photo to enlarge.

Richard Scopes
Paul Faulkner
William Ward
Martindale Sidwell
James Arlott
John Haynes
David Larner
Sebastian Forbes
Barry Marsh
John Taylor
David Wilson
Barney Platts Mills
Timothy Williams
Rev. Robert Lloyd
Cyril Ellis
David Sandilands
George Beamish
Michael Vaile
Cyril Prestage
Canon Alan Rogers
Jeremy Symonds
Stephen Lloyd
Christopher Bevan
John Faulkner
Harold Hodges
Terry Jones
Dick Harvey

The choir photographed in the choir stalls c. 1956. Use the mouse to identify choir members.

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Recordings

blank cover 4 Christmas carols. A virgin mother, Past three o'clock, The holly and the ivy, Whence is that goodly fragrance. Treble soloists Sebastian Forbes and Andrew Ryan, organ (a virgin mother) C.H.Trevor.
8 Christmas carols. The holly and the ivy, Come rock the cradle, In dulci jubilo, The cherry tree carol, Here we come a-wassailing, Good King Wenceslas, O come all ye fathful, The first nowell. Soloists Treble, Sebastian Forbes; Tenor, Gerald English; Bass baritone, James Atkins.

Originally issued by Parlohone 1955 on 78rpm R.3947 and R.3948 and on EP GEP8502.
Pye CEM 26001 and CEM 36002. These and the earlier 4 carols have been transcribed to a single CD format, MSLCD001.

carolsEPs Britten; Rejoice in the Lamb, Byrd; Ave Verum Corpus, Palestrina; Dum complerentur, Schuetz; Jauchzet den Herrn. Soloists; Sebastian Forbes, John Faulkner, Cyril Ellis, Chris Bevan?, Organ; Ralph Downes A thrid programme broadcast from 1955. Transcribed from two privately pressed LP recordings. MSLCD010
Handel; I know that my redeemer liveth, Mendelssohn; Hear my prayer/O for the wings of a dove, Hear ye Israel/Be not afraid. Sebastina Forbers, treble solo, organ; Martindale Sidwell Private recording made mid/late 1955 in Hampstead Parish Church. Transcribed from a 10 inch LP. MSLCD011.

JMHaydn Mass in B flat major, J Michael Haydn. The boys and altos of Hampstead Parish Church Choir, London Baroque Orchestra, Sopranos, Jacqueline Delman & Emerentia Scheepers, Contralto, Kathleen Joyce, conductor Karl Haas. Coupled with Cantata no 202 Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, J S Bach. Parlophone PMA1023 12 LP. Transcribed from worn copy. Some surface noise and distortion still present.
matthew passion St Matthew Passion, J.S. Bach. Soprano ripieno line, first chorus and final chorus, part one. The boys (and altos) of Hampstead Parish Church Choir, Sir Peter Pears (tenor, Evangelist), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Christa Ludwig (contralto), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Walter Berry (bass-baritone, Jesus), John Carol Case (baritone), Otakar Kraus (baritone), Helen Harper soprano), Helen Watts (contralto), Sir Geraint Evans (bass), Wilfred Brown (tenor), Philharmonia Choir and Orchestra, conductor Otto Klemperer. EMI 7630582. Recorded 1961, still available.
elijah Elijah, F. Mendessohn. Chorus 'Lift thine eyes'. Jacqueline Delman, soprano, Norma Procter, contralto, George Maran, tenor, Bruce Boyce, bass. London Philharmonic choir and orchestra, conductor Josef Krips. 1954. Available as a download from
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/
item.asp?item_code=9.80470-71
HPCCD2

Evensong 15th January 1956, BBC broadcast evensong 28th March 1956, extracts from BBC broadcast evensong 14th March 1956.
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis settings, Stanford in G, Stanford in C, Byrd short service. Anthems, Victoria, Jesu, the very thought of thee; Byrd, Bow thine ear, O Lord; Rachmaninoff, To thee, O Lord.

1956 private recording
HPCCD3 J.S. Bach (attrib. Kuhnau) Cantata BWV142, Uns ist ein Kind geboren. Soloists Charles Brett, counter tenor, Nigel Rogers, tenor, Christopher Keyte, bass, Philomusica of London, leader Carl Pini, conductor Martindale Sidwell 1971 private recording from BBC broadcast
Verse anthems and motets by Gibbons, Byrd, Mundy, Viadana. Viol music by Tye, Bull, Merullo. HPC choir with Martindale Sidwell choir and the Jaye consort of viols. 1971 private recording from BBC broadcast.
Sing joyfully - John Mundy; Bass solo, Kenneth Jones
MSLCD011 Service of nine lessons and carols from Hampstead Parish Church, 17th December 1972. Complete from the processional Solo treble, Once in royal David's city to the closing organ voluntary including all prayers and lessons. An important addition to the archive. 1972 private recording. A single microphone results in some variations in level but generally good quality and very listenable. Transcribed to two CDs, MSLCD013.
MSLCD011 Service of nine lessons and carols from Hampstead Parish Church, 1980. Complete from the processional Solo treble, Once in royal David's city to the closing organ voluntary including all prayers and lessons. An important addition to the archive. 1980 private recording. A single microphone results in some variations in level but generally good quality and very listenable. MSLCD017. Recording courtesy Chris N Miller.
MSLCD011 Service of nine lessons and carols from Hampstead Parish Church, 1981. Complete from the processional Solo treble, Once in royal David's city to the closing organ voluntary including all prayers and lessons. An important addition to the archive. 1981 private recording. A single microphone results in some variations in level but generally good quality and very listenable. MSLCD018. Recording courtesy Chris N Miller.
HPCCD1
Choral music by Byrd, Wesley, Ireland, Redford, Forbes, Locke, Mendelssohn. Soloists; Treble, James Riseboro, Baritone, Martin Harris.
Byrd, Ave verum corpus, Mass for 4 voices - Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei; Wesley, Blessed be the God and father; Ireland, Ex oro innocentium; Redford, Rejoice in the Lord alway; Forbes, O fons amoris spiritus; Howells, Like as the hart; Locke, O Domine, Jesu Christe; Mendelssohn, Hear my prayer.
1982 Tam Studios recording issued on and transcribed from cassette
Famous London Churches 32. A BBC broadcast (date unknown - late 50s/early 60s) including three choral excerpts plus a brief interview with Martindale Sidwell. Other voices include Francis Hall (vicar) and Tom Sutton (verger). There is also Douglas Brandon-Jones' father - who was architect to the Church at that time, and Mrs Black-Hawkins (wife of the Headmaster of UCS). The Choir sings The Polish Carol - arranged by George Aitkin (Martin's pedecessor), Christe qui lux es et dies (Byrd) and a portion of the Te Deum by Vaughan Williams. 31 minutes.
Magnificat and nunc dimittis, Stanford in G from a BBC broadcast on 3rd September 1975. It now seems that the soloists were Prudence Lloyd and Jonathan Robarts and the choir is in fact the St. Clement Danes octet. Listen carefully and the unmistakeable timbre of James Bowman is evident throughout the exposed alto parts. 3 min 43s and 4 minutes
An early appearance on film

In 1954 the men and boys of Hampstead Parish Church choir were engaged for a sequence to be shot in St. Paul's Cathedral as part of the film 'John Wesley'. This photograph shows the choir in rehearsal in period wigs.


Wesley


HPCC1059

Hampstead Parish Church Choir 1959?

HPCC1965

Hampstead Parish Church Choir 1965

Choir70s

Hampstead Parish Church Choir 1977

choir1982

Hampstead Parish Church Choir 1982