Christmas Morning (2010)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Introit Hodie Christus natus est (chant)
Entrance O Come all ye faithful
Gloria Glory to God in the Highest (John Bell)
Psalm All the ends of the earth (Alan Johnson)
Gospel Acclamation Salisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts See amid the winter’s snow
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Gathering Mass (Paul Inwood)
Agnus Dei Mass of the Angels and Saints (Steven Janco)
Communion Hodie Christus natus est (chant)
Come to the Manger
Postcommunion Child of the Poor / What Child is this (Scott Soper) – choir
Recessional Hark, the herald angels sing

For Christmas morning, as usual, we had the men of the choir – seven of us making a merry noise. We began with unaccompanied plainchant, the Magnificat antiphon from Second Vespers for Christmas Day, made famous in Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. In fact we sang it twice – bold and declamatory for our Introit, and then more gentle and thoughtful at the start of Communion.

We tried out another piece by Scott Soper featuring a new tune to go with a famous old one (to follow last Sunday’s On the lips of an angel). This one features William Chatterton Dix’s What child is this to the familiar Greensleeves tune, plus new words to a tune of Soper’s own creation. On reflection, it’s a less successful combination than last week’s – the two busy sets of words cancel each other out, leaving the listener with nothing but the music. A nice combination of melody and counter-melody, all the same.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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