Christmas is Coming!

Music and Readings for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Cathedral Choir & Notability The truth from above (Traditional, arr. R Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958)
All Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Notability Mirabile dictu (Carol Ann Duffy/Sasha Johnson Manning)
Jesus child (John Rutter)
All Once in royal David’s city
Cathedral Choir My Lord has come (Will Todd)
All While shepherds watched their flocks
Anthony Hunt (Organ) Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (J.S. Bach)
Notability Mary, Mary (Mary Donnelly/George Strid)
All O little town of Bethlehem
Cathedral Choir All my heart this night rejoices (J.G. Ebeling, tr. C. Winkworth)
All God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Cathedral Choir Angels we have heard on high (trad., arr. Eric Paździora)
All Hark the herald angels sing
Cathedral Choir & Notability O magnum mysterium (Morten Lauridsen)
All O come, all ye faithful
All O come, O come Emmanuel
Anthony Hunt Vom Himmel Hoch, (J.S. Bach)

Our usual partner charity AgeUK (formerly Age Concern) was unable to join us in mounting this year’s event, so instead we teamed up as usual with ace chamber choir Notability and put the show on ourselves. Speakers came from our two chosen charities, and there were scripture readings, and words of welcome, a prayer and a blessing from Canon Tony.

Overall my aim in compiling the programme was to give the event a more nuanced Advent feel, compared with the usual full-on Christmas celebration of previous years. This was probably more evident from the readings (Luke 1:26-38, Isaiah 40:1-5;9, John 1:1-5; 9-14) than from the music, though beginning and ending with Advent hymns seemed to set the tone successfully.

From a musical point of view, the high point was undoubtedly the two choirs joining together to sing Lauridsen’s stunningly beautiful setting of the famous Christmas text. It was a joy to sing.

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