There Was a Star

St Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin
7:30pm Saturday 7 December 2019
$20 waged, $15 unwaged

The oldest work in our programme, dating from the early 17th century, is Hodie Christus Natus Est by the Dutch composer Sweelinck and is a classical piece of polyphony in 5 parts.

Most of the remainder of the programme is far more modern but we shall be visiting the nineteenth century with two pieces by Mendelssohn: the harmonically beautiful Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen and the exuberant Frohlocket, ihr Völker auf Erden.

We shall be singing two works by the contemporary British composer Bob Chilcott: Pilgrim Jesus, and The Shepherd’s Carol. Both of them feature rhythms which mix duple and triple times but while the first is wistfully beautiful the second is a rollicking dance.

We celebrate one of the choir’s favourite composers, New Zealander David Childs, in three of his motets: O Nata Lux, Salve Regina, and O Magnum Mysterium. Childs has written a number of mixed voice Latin motets, and these three are superb examples of his innovative style.

We shall also perform two eight-part motets each with a Marian theme and rich harmonies: Maria durch ein’ Dornwald ging by Stefan Claas, and Second Eve by Ola Gjeilo.

Other pieces are Sænk kun dit hoved, du blomst by Danish composer Bo Holten, which features a gentle accompaniment to a beautiful soprano solo; and Il est né le divin enfant by David Willcocks, which is a playful arrangement of a French carol first performed by the Kings Singers.

Christmas would not be complete without a more traditional carol and so we shall be performing the eight part setting by Pearsall of In Dulci Jubilo.

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