Showing posts from December, 2018

Veni redemptor gentium by Andrew Smith

Christmastide continues with New York Polyphony's performance of this lovely work by Andrew Smith.
Learn more about this contemporary British-Norwegian composer here. And more about New York Polyphony here. Four fantastic voices performing a piece that combines the chant with lovely polyphony.

Ukrainian Monks Singing Christmas Carols

This will be a pleasure for connoisseurs of male a cappella. In light of the miserable controversy now boiling between the Russian Patriarch and the Ecumenical Patriarch, it seemed only fair to calm down and enjoy the music.

There are some very stern looking women in the background. Don’t let them frighten you!

Norwegian Christmas Song

This traditional song from Norway is a recording by Arve Moen Bergset. While still a well-known performer of traditional song and fiddle, Bergset was a famous boy soprano in his day. The lyrics mirror the pietism of Scandinavia with their focus on the heart.  I find these tunes so charming that I'm compelled for a moment to abandon my "a cappella only" stance.  
Mitt hjerte alltid vanker - English translation
My heart will always wanderTo where our Lord was born,My thoughts will always go thereAnd take on their true form.My longing does belong there,With the treasure of my faith;I never shall forget you,O blessed Christmas night!
I'll willingly spread branchesOf palms around your bed.For you and you aloneI will gladly live and die.Come, let my soul find joyIn this moment of delight:To see you born right here,Deep inside my loving heart.

Lithuanian Christmas Tune

linksmų Kalėdų [Merry Christmas in Lithuanian] I don't know what the song means, but it awfully catchy. Definitely a Baltic feel. Christmas season continues!

O House of Ephratha

Here we are in the Twelve Days of Christmas - and I'm going to post something every day! This season has given birth to so much beautiful music that it's hard to know where to start (and when to stop).

Now it's time for some Orthodox Christmas music from Alaska. Ephratha in the Nativity context refers to Bethlehem. It's also a woman's name and a source of endless confusion as to its location either north or south of Jerusalem. It derives from the Hebrew root for "fruitful" or "to bear fruit." Learn way too much by going here.

In the meantime, just sweep up those pine needles and remember that Christmas has just begun!

Proclamation of the Birth of Christ

Wishing everyone a Blessed Christmas Eve! This recording of the proclamation from St. Bernard Abbey is so clean and clear that it was a favorite among many I sampled.
How wonderful it was and is that the hope of Israel was fulfilled! And may all your celebrations be a joy!

Ending Advent with the Choeur Saint-Ambroise

Well, we've made it to Advent IV. And since I was just in France, here is a lovely Ave Maria Dominicain that was composed for the 800th anniversary of the Order of Preachers (2015). The composer was Andre Gouzes, O.P. of the Abbaye de Sylvanes; the choir is the Choeur Saint-Ambroise, an ensemble devoted to the performance of his works.

Just listen!
Then if you'd like to know more about Andre Gouzes and Sylvanes, go here.
More about the Choeur Saint-Ambroise, go here.

And if you don't hear from before before Christmas, may you and all who are dear to you be blessed in the Nativity!