You are cordially invited…
To a feast of festive a cappella and accompanied music. A characteristically eclectic Viva Voce playlist tracks back to the pagan and folk roots of traditional Christmas music also throwing a spotlight on contemporary creativity, especially female composers… Sally Beamish, Cecilia McDowall, Joanna Marsh, Isobel Waller-Bridge and Alice Tegnér.
The themes underpinning the programme choices:
I wonder as I wander
Odysseys of geographical and self-discovery. Music from our homelands and our European neighbours to the broad expanses of Appalachia, Scandinavia, and the Baltic.
In Winter’s House
Journeys undertaken willingly but also those fleeing persecution - the displaced refugee – biblical and other – a searching for ‘home’. Countries and cultures joining hands - Tormis -Finland-Estonia bonding in a Bridge of Song and a subversive socio-political prayer-manifesto gem from Arvo Part.
‘On the Feast of Stephen…’
Processional music abounds, from a bucolic Yorkshire Wassail to the bacchanalian debauchery of the Wren-Boys marking St Stephen’s Day – that Boxing Day feeling.
Further marking that feast day by plundering the Swedish Staffan-ballad folk tradition as realized by the stylistically inventive synthesis arrangements of Gunnar Idenstam – unapologetically virile, with an upbeat Chilcott take on Good King Wenceslas hot on its heels.
Your Advent wakeup call, care of J.S Bach from his Cantata 70 whilst a South American baroque fiesta number of Juan Cererols makes for the ideal party icebreaker.
In the stillness – Sleep, little one, sleep
Contemporary moments of awesome mind-expanding meditative reflection. Timothy Stephens, Ola Gjeilo and Michael John Trotta honour a fine crystalline rose Virgin, the Magi adoring a Great Mystery.
Human sensuality and sophistication are celebrated with the virtuoso Italian madrigalist Luca Marenzio, French elegant sophistication of Charpentier with Gabriel Faure and Swede Ivar Widéen in salon cabaret music mode.
‘Home isn’t always a place, is it?’
Charlie Mackesy – The Boy, the Mole, the Fox & the Horse
Oh – P.S. Did we say, there’s some audience participation?! (sheet music provided for you if desired). Also, fortifying half-time refreshments will be on hand too