December 24-25, 2009

Master of Flémalle, Nativity, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, 1420

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (NRSV, Luke 2:7).

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
The Nativity of the Lord

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar



Once in Royal David's City sung by Edward Burrowes and the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir, John Scott conducting. (The painting is by Piero della Francesca, 1470, and hangs in the National Gallery, London.)


Marten de Vos, Nativity, Antwerp Cathedral, 1577

In 17th and 18th century France, composers of sacred music commonly used motifs from popular hymns and even secular songs to capture the attention of the congregation. This year's setting for our midnight Eucharist is Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Messe de minuit pour Noël, which incorporates musical themes from popular French Noëls or carols. Click to hear Charpentier's Mass as well as music by composers of Noëls like Balbastre, Dandrieu and Daquin.


The Chorale, Vom Himmel hoch, which sings of the angel bringing glad tidings to the shepherds, has inspired composers for the organ over the centuries. In our Christmas celebrations this year we hear versions by Johann Pachelbel and Garth Edmundson. Click to read the text and listen to a number of interpretations of each chorale-prelude: Pachelbel - Edmundson.





Celebrate Christmas with Michael Barone and Pipedreams. Click to go to their main page and access this year's two programmes of Christmas organ and choral music.


1996 Helmut Wolff organ in the Bales Recital Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS




California Boys' Choir

One of
Benjamin Britten's very popular accomplishments is his Ceremony of Carols.

Click to read about the Ceremony of Carols.

Click to hear the Ceremony of Carols performed by the California Boys’ Choir.


Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Nativity, Art Association Galleries, Atlanta, c. 1465

Anyone with online access to the Naxos Music Library, in particular cardholders of la Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and members of "Beethoven on Demand" (
info ), may listen online to seven different versions of Johann Sebastian Bach, Christmas Oratorio.

Click here
for the First Day of Christmas (December 25)..

Click here for the Second Day of Christmas (December 26).

Click here for the Third Day of Christmas (December 27).

Click here for the Fourth Day of Christmas (New Year's Day).

Click here for the Fifth Day of Christmas (Sunday after New Year).

Click here for the Sixth Day of Christmas (Epiphany).

December 20, 2009

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Census at Bethlehem, Musées royaux des beaux-arts, Brussels, 1566

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days [NRSV, Micah 2:5].

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar

NB: MySpace.com has taken over Imeem.com and music accessed through Imeem.com has become temporarily unavailable during the transition.



The Mass setting for Choral Eucharist is Hans Leo Hassler, Missa "Dixit Maria," based on his motet which will be the Communion anthem. Click to read about Hans Leo Hassler and listen to his Mass performed by the Ensemble Vocal Européen, Philippe Herreweghe conducting, and a number of versions of Hassler's motet.





The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral will join with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and Nathalie Paulin, soprano; Daniel Taylor, contreténor; Pascal Charbonneau, ténor; Alexander Dobson, bass with Boris Brott conducting to perform George Frideric Handel, Messiah, at Christ Church Cathedral on Monday, December 21, at 8 pm. Tickets: $38-$10.

Click to read about Messiah and access the 2008 video performance by the Trinity Church (Wall Street) choir with the Rebel Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrew Megill and the 2009 video performance by the Trinity Church (Wall Street) Choir with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Jane Glover, guest conductor, and Robert Mealy, concertmaster.


Patrick Wedd will perform Olivier Messiaen, La Nativité du Seigneur, on the 1980 Wilhelm organ of Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, December 19, at 5:00 pm. Admission free / voluntary contribution.

Click to listen to Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur from Pipedreams, Minnesota PBS, each movement performed by a different organist.


Click to read about Giovanni Gabrieli and listen on YouTube to his four Christmas motets performed by the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Paul McCreesh conducting.






Click to read about Chanticleer and to listen to their recording, Sing We Christmas.










To listen to a 2009 Pipedreams programme of organ and choir meditations, Advent Expressions, click here, then click on "Complete Show."

Two organ voluntaries of
Johann Sebastian Bach that are favorites of Patrick Wedd are, BWV 559 and BWV 561.
2000 Woehl organ, Thomaskirche, Leipzig

To listen to the Chorale-prelude, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659, performed by

Karl Straube on the 1925 Welte organ in the Mechanical Instrument Museum, Linz-am Rhine, in style very different from how Bach himself would have played it, hold button and slide to 32:41 (32 minutes and 41 seconds).

To listen to Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 661, performed by
Almut Rössler on the 2000 Woehl organ of Bach's own Saint Thomas Church, Leipzig, hold button and slide to 109:34 (109 minutes and 34 seconds).




Click to hear a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 132, by Soprano: Ruth Holton; Alto: Sytse Buwalda; Tenor: Knut Schoch; Bass: Bas Ramselaar; Holland Boys Choir / Netherlands Bach Collegium;Pieter Jan Leusink conducting.

December 13, 2009

El Greco, St. John the Baptist, Fine Arts Mueums of San Francisco, c.1600

The people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah [NRSV, Luke 3:15].

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
Third Sunday of Advent

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar

NB: MySpace.com has taken over Imeem.com and music accessed through Imeem.com has become temporarily unavailable during the transition.



Click to read about the Advent Prose to be sung at both Choral Eucharist and evensong this Sunday, as well as read about the Introit of the Roman Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent and listen to a number of musical selections.




The Annual Handel's Messiah Sing-Along will take place at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, December 12, at 5 pm, with the Cathedral Singers and orchestra, Patrick Wedd directing. Soloists are Noelle McMurtry, Valérie Arboit, Hugh Topham and Winston Purdy. Scores are available. Free admission / voluntary contribution.

The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral will join with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and Nathalie Paulin, soprano; Daniel Taylor, contreténor; Pascal Charbonneau, ténor; Alexander Dobson, bass with Boris Brott conducting to perform George Frideric Handel, Messiah, at Christ Church Cathedral on Monday, December 21, at 8 pm. Tickets: $38-$10.

Click to read about Messiah and access a video performance by the Trinity Church (Wall Street) choir with the Rebel Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrew Megill.


Patrick Wedd will perform Olivier Messiaen, La Nativité du Seigneur, on the 1980 Wilhelm organ of Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, December 19, at 5:00 pm. Admission free / voluntary contribution.

Click to listen to Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur from Pipedreams, Minnesota PBS, each movement performed by a different organist.


Click here to go to Heinrich Schütz, History of the Joyful and Merciful Birth of the Son of God and Mary, Jesus Christ, our only Mediator, Redeemer and Saviour (Die Weihnachtshistorien / The Christmas Story), performed by Franz-Josef Selig, Michael Volle, Peter Kooy, Thomas Herberich, Andrea Egeler, et al; Kammerchor Stuttgart, Musica Fiata Köln, Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra; Frieder Bernius conducting.




To listen to a 2004 Pipedreams programme of organ and choir meditations for Advent, In Anticipation, click here, then click on "Listen to the program." To listen to Bryan Kelly, Magnificat in C [text] performed by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, John Sanders, conductor; Mark Lee on the 1999 Nicholson organ of Gloucester Cathedral, hold button and slide to 22:44 (22 minutes and 44 seconds).





Click to go to a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 62, by Soprano: Sibylla Rubens; Alto: Sarah Connolly; Tenor: Christoph Prégardien; Bass: Peter Kooy; Collegium Vocale Gent; Philippe Herreweghe directing.

December 6, 2009

Salvador Dali, Et tu, puer, prophetia altissimi, Biblia Sacra, 1964-67

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways [NRSV, Luke 1:76].

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes

The Second Sunday of Advent

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar



Gabriel Fauré, Messe basse, will be the Mass setting at Choral Eucharist at 10:00 am and again at 6:00 pm this coming Sunday. Click to read about Gabriel Fauré and listen to performances of his Messe basse, his celebrated Requiem, and other liturgical choral works by the Cambridge Singers, John Rutter conducting; and the American Boychoir, James Litton conducting.




The Annual Handel's Messiah Sing-Along will take place at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, December 12, at 5 pm, with the Cathedral Singers and orchestra, Patrick Wedd directing. Soloists are Noelle McMurtry, Valérie Arboit, Hugh Topham and Winston Purdy. Scores are available. Free admission / voluntary contribution.


Click to read about Messiah and access a video performance by the Trinity Church (Wall Street) choir with the Rebel Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrew Megill.



Conditor Alme Siderum (Creator of the Stars of Night) is the quintessential advent hymn. During advent it is always sung at Roman Catholic vespers.

Click to read about Conditor alme siderum and to listen to a number of choral and organ arrangements.





Montreal Bach Festival 2009 proudly announces its 3rd Edition: November 24 to December 5, 2009.

Click for complete information.



McGill Autumn Noon-Hour Organ Recital Series
The Wolff organ of Redpath Hall
Fridays at 12:30 pm - Admission Free




December 4: Michael Dirks (Bach Festival)












To listen to the 2000 Pipedreams programme of organ and choir meditations for Advent, Wait, oh Wait!, click here, then click on "listen to the program." To hear the improvised symphonic movement,The World Awaiting the Saviour, by Marcel Dupré, that he recorded with "compelling persuasiveness" in his 79th year, performed on the 1890 Cavaillé- Coll organ of L’Église abbatiale de St-Ouen, Rouen, hold button and slide to 1:16:25 (1 hour, 16 minutes and 25 seconds).

1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ, St-Ouen



Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 167, performed by Soprano: Joanne Lunn; Alto: Wilke te Brummelstroete; Tenor: Paul Agnew; Bass: Dietrich Henschel; Monteverdi Choir / English Baroque Soloists; John Eliot Gardiner directing.

November 29, 2009

Luca Signorelli, The Elect (detail), Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto, 1499-1502

And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints (NRSV, 1 Thessalonians, 3:13).

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
The First Sunday of Advent

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar


"O" Antiphons are an important element in Advent liturgy since the ninth century. A number of them will be sung in plainchant during this year's Procession of Carols and Lessons for Advent.

"O" by Eric Gill

Click to read about "O" Antiphons and listen to them in plainchant sung by the Cantuale Antonianum and the Dominican students of Blackfriars, Oxford, as well as versions by Healey Willan and Arvo Pärt.



Montreal Bach Festival 2009 proudly announces its 3rd Edition: November 24 to December 5, 2009.

Click for complete information.


McGill Autumn Noon-Hour Organ Recital Series
The Wolff organ of Redpath Hall
Fridays at 12:30 pm - Admission Free




November 27: Jens Korndoerfer (Bach Festival)

December 4: Michael Dirks (Bach Festival)










Click to go to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Music for Advent and Christmas, performed by the Westminster Cathedral Choir, Martin Baker, master of music.


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina



To listen to a 1998 Pipedreams programme of organ and choir meditations for Advent, Veni, Come, click here, then click on "Complete Show." To listen to the final, unusual and stunning piece, Jacques Charpentier, L'Ange à la trompette, performed by John Balka on the 1992 C.B. Fisk organ of the Myerson Symphony Center, Dallas, hold button and slide to 77:15 (77 minutes and 15 seconds).



Click to hear Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 61, performed by Soprano: Julianne Baird; Counter-tenor: Drew Minter; Tenor: Benjamin Butterfield; Bass: James Weaver; American Bach Soloists (no choir); Jeffrey Thomas conducting.

November 22, 2009

Russian Orthodox Icon of Solomon

"Grant to my son Solomon that with single mind he may keep your commandments, your decrees, and your statutes, performing all of them, and that he may build the temple for which I have made provision (NRSV, 1 Chronicles 29:19)."

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
The Reign of Christ

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar



Cipriano de Rore, of Franco-Flemish origin, was a prolific Renaissance composer of madrigals, Masses and motets while in the service of the Este family in Ferrara. His Jubilate Deo is the introit for Choral Eucharist this coming Sunday.

Click to read about Cipriano de Rore and listen to a variety of his madrigals and motets performed by the Ensemble Weser Renaissance Bremen.



Montreal Bach Festival 2009 proudly announces its 3rd Edition: November 24 to December 5, 2009.

Click for complete information.

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano conducting, will open the festival with the Bach St. Matthew Passion on Tuesday, November 24, and Wednesday, November 25, both performances at 8:00 pm. Click for information.

Those with access to the Naxos Music Library online may prepare by listening at home to a variety of performances with notes and complete text and translation.
Click here.

McGill Autumn Noon-Hour Organ Recital Series
The Wolff organ of Redpath Hall
Fridays at 12:30 pm - Admission Free



November 20: Matthew Provost

November 27: Jens Korndoerfer (Bach Festival)

December 4: Michael Dirks (Bach Festival)








Champions in Canada: Highlight performances from Montreal by winners of the 2008 Canadian International Organ Competition, with commentary from CIOC artistic director John Grew.

Click to go to the November 9th programme of Pipedreams from Minnesota Public Radio.



Click to go to a performance of Antonio Bononcini, Stabat Mater dolorosa; Felicity Palmer, soprano; Paul Esswood, countertenor; Philip Langridge, tenor; Christopher Keyte, bass; Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge; George Guest conducting.




Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 55, performed by Ernst Haefliger, tenor; Aurele Nicolet, flute; Edgar Shann, oboe; Munich Bach Orchestra & Choir; Karl Richter conducting.

November 15, 2009

Illustrator of Petrus Comestor Bible Historiale, Hannah Praying at the Shrine at Shiloh, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1372 1372

She made this vow: "O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head (NRSV, 1 Samuel 1:11)."

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Click to go immediately to:

1) The
Music Programme Homepage
2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist and Evensong
3) The Concert Calendar

The prelude for Choral Eucharist this coming Sunday by Ralph Vaughan Williams is based on the Welsh hymn-tune, Rhosymedre. Click to listen on YouTube to all three of the organ preludes based on Welsh hymn-tunes composed by Vaughan Williams in 1920 performed by Christopher Allsop on the 1975 Metzler organ of Trinity College, Cambridge.





Ave Maria: Works dedicated to the Blessed Virgin is the first concert of the season of Musica Orbium, directed by Patrick Wedd, to be held on Sunday, November 15, at 7:30 pm, at St. George's Anglican Church, 1101 Stanley Street, Montreal (Bonaventure Metro). Choral Music by Rachmaninov, Pärt, Chilcott and others (including several “Ave Marias” and “Magnificats”) will precede the beautiful and engaging “Stabat Mater” by French genius Francis Poulenc. Click for complete information and the possibility to reserve by phone.

Kerry-Anne Kutz, soprano
Philip Crozier, organ

Programme:
Ave Maria: Robert Parsons (circa 1535–1572) [Clare College: listen]
Magnificat in G: Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) [Stamford; St. John's; Andrew Johnston: listen]
Bogoroditsye Dyevo (Ave Maria): Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) [Friday's Voices; King's Singers: listen]
Bogoroditsye Dyevo: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) [Friday's Voices; Tewksbury; Southampton; Cambridge Singers: listen]
Nova! Nova!: Bob Chilcott (b. 1955) [Tower Voices: NML] (info)
Dixit Maria: Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) [James River Singers; King College: listen]
Ave Maria (à 4): Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) [Westminster Cathedral: listen]
Ave Maria (à 8): Tomás Luis de Victoria [Tallis Scholars: listen]
Regina caeli: Gregor Aichinger (1564-1628) [Auckland: YouTube]
Magnificat: Charles Theodore Pachelbel (1690- 1750) [Tower Youth: NML] (info)
Stabat Mater: Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) [Prêtre: listen]

McGill Autumn Noon-Hour Organ Recital Series
The Wolff organ of Redpath Hall
Fridays at 12:30 pm - Admission Free



November 13: Jonathan Oldengarm

November 20: Matthew Provost

November 27: Jens Korndoerfer

December 4: Michael Dirks





2009 Commemoration: The 250 aniversary of the death of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Click to go to George Frideric Handel, Joshua, A Sacred Drama; words by Thomas Morell; performed by John Mark Ainsley (tenor); James Bowman (alto); Michael George (bass); Emma Kirby (soprano); Aidan Oliver (treble); The Choir of New College, Oxford (Edward Higginbottom, director); The King's Consort; Robert King conducting.




Click to go to a performance of František Ignác Antonín Tůma, Stabat Mater dolorosa by The Prague Madrigalists, Pavel Baxa conducting.








Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 8 performed by Soprano: Julianne Baird; Alto: Steven Rickards; Tenor: Jeffrey Thomas; Bass: James Weaver; American Bach Soloists (Choir & Orchestra); Jeffrey Thomas conducting; Recorded at St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere, CA, USA.