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Christmas Journeys

The Pilgrim's Way

Anchor Bach


Friday 13th December 2019

Upper Chapel

Norfolk Street


S1 2JD

Tickets available online 

and on the door


Passport ready? – Join us on a whistle stop tour along the CAMINO Ways of St. James for a Seasonal Choral Pilgrimage discovering music both rustic and refined in period and imaginative contemporary arrangements, with new CHRISTMAS compositions too.


Time to hit the ADVENT Pilgrim Camino trails with ports of call - and a few detours - along the way.


From far-flung European starting points, we plunder music of the Black Madonna en route, celebrating a cosmopolitan CHRISTMAS of delights arriving at Santiago de Compostela - the field of the star - and out to Cape Finesterre for EPIPHANY – the Edge of the World.

We look out from the atlantic coast, with its glimmering sea and stars, to the horizon, beyond which we join a Montevidean  Afro-Spanish émigré Fiesta Carnival.


Our wayfaring companions will also include Italian pastoral rustic Pifferari (the Viva Voce Players) as they take their yearly journey down the Abruzzi mountains into Rome to pay homage to the Virgin and Child.


Back here at home come a-Wassailing in English cider orchards, promoting a good harvest for the coming year, reciting incantations and singing to the trees before swaggering door-to-door singing and caroling and offering drink from our wassailing bowl. Enjoy yourself with others in ‘a noisy, lively way’.


So, Pick your preferred routes – here’s our intended playlist…




  • Charpentier Messe de Minuit Kyrie – Midnight Baroque reworkings of traditional Jesuit Noels such as Une Jeune Pucelle, recomposed by..

  • Anderson as The Huron Carol  a 17th.c Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada.

  • ‘Paris, Dimanche 18 Mai 1952’ Poulenc Hodie Christus Natus est  a stirring Motet pour le temp de Noel

  • Debussy – his last song - a harrowing Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maisons – surprising Christmas fare.


UK - CAMINO INGLES – the trading sea route to the Galician coast - Ferrol or A Coruna


  • Warlock A harmonically subtle I saw a fair maiden – alluringly sophisticated

  • Vaughan Williams His ‘freely arranged’  Wassail Song

  • A Britten/Rutter synthesis of the Appalachian I wonder as I wander from Songs of the Hill Folk

  • Stopford an understated Lully, Lulla, Lullay – delivered ‘with simple beauty’

  • Lane  Jesus Christ the Apple Tree -  Timeless and atmospheric

  • Weir Her lustrous Kings College 1985 commission Illuminare, Jerusalem Medieval scots, 15th.c anon manuscript - Awesome!

  • Redshaw I sing of a Maiden – meditative majesty

  • Gjeilo – The Holly & the Ivy – An exuberant Norwegian take on this well-known English broadside folk tune.


GERMANY - Wege der Jakobspilger – an historic trade route taking in Praetorius in Saxony and Thuringia and Bach in Leipzig

  • Bach Cantata BWV65 – Sie Werden aus Saba alle kommen  the first movement depicts swaying of the camels of the Magi and their onboard riches. Also, his affecting O Jesulein süss

  • Praetorius A polychoral In dulci Jubilo showing his showy Venetian influences

  • Swede Sixten presents an unapologetically voluptuous nocturnal jazz/blues infused arrangement - Marais Wiegenlied (Stille Nacht)



  • Trad. Tu scendi dalle stelle ‘look you, the stars shine still’ Bosola to the Duchess of Malfi affirms life




  • Cuncti simus concanentes A Pilgrim Song of the Monastery of Montserrat – a stirring annunciation Ave Maria chant narrative

  • Flecha the elder (attributed) bawdy villancicos Riu, riu, chiu

  • Sevillian Guerrero A un nino llorando al hielo  - a procession of Kings



  • Afro-Spanish Montevideo - Fiesta time with Candombe de San Baltasar Abel of Montenegro-Yabor


O Antiphons

  • A culturally stereotyped insular and self-deprecating Latvian? Esenvalds O Emmanuel for Merton College, Oxford – see what you think…

  • Łukaszewski a virtuosic O Sapientia  - Breaking a traditional Polish opłatek Christmas wafer.  



Audience participation - Good King Wenceslas from Piae Cantiones arranged Reginald Jacques


‘Page and Monarch forth they went, forth they went together…’ Hope to see you on Friday 13th December as we catch them up…

Seasons Greetings from VIVA VOCE!

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