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).