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To Shorten Winter’s Sadness – an early English Christmas

Date: 14/12/2023
From: 19:30
Location: To Shorten Winter’s Sadness – an early English Christmas St Botolph without Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3TL
Cost: Tickets £16, reduced price £12
More information: https://www.orlandochoir.org.uk/events?id=20231214

Orlando Chamber Choir
Lucy Goddard, director
Gavin Roberts, organ

In the darkness of winter, we look for the light. We get together for religious reflection, to share supper, to feast and have fun into the night – tomorrow will be a brighter day!

Composers throughout time have captured in their compositions these spiritual, sacred and secular occasions – and to mark the 400th anniversary of Byrd’s and Weelkes’ deaths this year, Orlando Chamber Choir focuses on the sound of an early English Christmas. Byrd’s splendid polyphony, and that of his teacher Tallis, accompany the annunciation and the birth of Christ, to which Philips adds triumphant trumpets and a choir of angels. Dering intones the shepherds’ travels, and Sheppard gives glorious voices to the magi’s veneration.

Praetorius’ “Lo, how a Rose”, set in the people’s language rather than that of the Church, leads us gently towards more secular celebrations; and Sandstöm’s contemporary setting of the same tune transports the party to the concert day – which is where you join in with the audience carols!

Our programme is framed by earthly secular works about feasts and further falala – with wine and mince pies in the interval.

Stauff – The Boar’s Head Carol
Weelkes – To shorten winter’s sadness
Wood – Ding dong merrily on high
Byrd – Ecce virgo concipiet
Byrd – Rorate caeli
Willcocks – While shepherds watched their flocks
Dering – Quem vidistis, pastores?
Philips – O beatum et sacrosanctum diem
Willcocks – The first Nowell
Byrd – This day Christ was born
Sheppard – Reges Tharsis
Tallis – Videte miraculum
M. Praetorius – Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
Sandström – Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

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