Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gloria! A Baroque Christmas

Friday 19 December 2014, 7:30 pm
Knox Church, 449 George Street, Dunedin

Conductor: David Burchell
Soloists: Lois Johnston, Cathy Sim, Claire Barton, Benjamin Madden, Tānara Stedman
City Choir Dunedin
Southern Sinfonia


The featured work in this Baroque Christmas concert is the familiar and popular Gloria by Vivaldi. The wonderfully sunny nature of the Gloria, with its distinctive melodies and rhythms, and the brilliance and variety of textures displayed in the eleven movements of this work, make it tremendously appealing.

Charpentier’s In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi portrays, with delicacy and passion, the age-old story of the Evangelist calling the shepherds to Bethlehem, there to find Joseph, Mary and the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

Bach composed the Christmas cantata Ich freue mich in dir in Leipzig in 1724 for the Third Day of Christmas. The work is suffused with earthy and realistic touches bathed in an otherworldly heavenly glow. It is surprising that the final chorale harmonization has not become famous as a Christmas carol, for it is a wonderful melody, beautifully harmonized.

These three works form the backbone of this celebration of the birth of Christ in our Baroque Christmas concert, and together with other shorter works by Buxtehude, Schein, Praetorius, Handel, Telemann and Clérambault, the music is presented in the spirit of joy that is Christmas!

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