Thursday, December 17 from 5:30-6:30 pm
Scored for the unusual pairing of treble (boy soprano) voices and harp, Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols is a sequence of nine carols based on texts by anonymous 15th and 16th century writers. Deeply felt, both elegiac and energetic, it is a masterpiece for boys’ voices.
In his review for the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini wrote:
The 24 boys of St. Thomas’s respected choir school were ideal performers. The angelic voices of the young trebles blended perfectly with the richer voices of older altos, some of whom were almost twice as tall as their youngest choirmates. The boys are already complete musicians who hold pitch true even in close-spaced harmonies and are not rattled when contrapuntal lines become crisscrossed in agitated passages. For all the sweetness in the music, Britten also conveys rambunctious, boyish energy, which this performance captured, with the fine harpist Anna Reinersman and Mr. Scott conducting.
John Rutter’s Dancing Day is a cycle of traditional Christmas Carols. The work celebrates Christmas with a tapestry of familiar carols and old texts dating back as far as the 14th century. Several of these songs are ‚Äúpeople’s music‚Äù‚Äîmerry medieval dance tunes with religious texts having one foot in the church door, and with their dance melodies one in the village square. This amalgam of secular experience and religious story retell the central event of Christmas with vivid imagery and affecting simplicity. Through them all runs the sense of wonder and danceable joy.