14th February 2016 sees one of Epiphoni’s most eclectic programmes to date, Serenade to Music, with choral music on the theme of love and longing — accompanied by piano and violin — and interspersed with readings from Shakespearean and sacred texts.

st-georges-bloomsburyStarting at 4.30pm, this special Valentine’s Day recital, will be hosted at St George’s Bloomsbury, an immaculately restored Hawksmoor church in London’s famous literary district.

Music includes Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music in arrangement for choir, piano and solo violin, which sets a passage of text, a paean to the power and beauty of music, from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

For the first time we welcome a guest conductor — Peter Hanke, artistic director of the Voces Academy; we are also joined by violinist Claudia Fuller from the Royal Academy of Music, and regular collaborator Jay Skelton to read the extract before it is sung.

In the bard’s quatercentenary year, we perform a London premiere of bright young thing Owain Park‘s Shakespeare Love Songs, setting texts from Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labours Lost and the sonnets. Alongside this, a concert premiere of the famous wedding text from Corinthians 13 by tenor-composer Gareth Treseder.

The Shakespeare settings are complemented by numerous sacred texts on the theme of love: Set Me as a Seal (Walton), I sat down (Bairstow) and Bob Chilcott’s Thou my love art fair, written for the King’s Singers.

Timed to fit perfectly after a lazy lunch or pre-dinner, treat your beau to a banquet of sumptuous choral music teeming with sincerity and ardour, and performed as ever with panache by the Epiphoni Consort.

Tickets available online £5-10.