Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Music to wrap presents by

This is my first Christmas in a long time with no choir to sing with. I'm used to a big build-up of practices and carols concerts, culminating in Midnight Mass (I always skive off on Christmas morning). One of the special things about Midnight Mass at St Mary's was the fun of blasting out carols like 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' from the choir loft, together with a trio of trumpets and the organ...

I love a lot of the special music for this time of year, so I've tried to make do with listening to recordings and singing on my own. I found an absolute treasure-trove of downloadable free scores at the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) site - they have six pages worth of Music for the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany seasons, including traditional carols as well as choral music from the 14th century to the present.

One new discovery is Charpentier's 'Salve puerule':

And here's an old favourite, Bach's Christmas Oratorio:

And this is a lovely concert/documentary hybrid - a special Christmas episode of the BBC series Sacred Music (featuring The Sixteen), 'A Choral Christmas':

I recognised several pieces I've sung over the years, including Victoria's amazing 'O Magnum Mysterium', and the 15thC carol 'There is no Rose of such Virtue'.

Merry Christmas, folks! Enjoy your holiday. :)

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