Possibly from a 14th century Benedictine processional
from the monastery of St. Georg, Hradlisch, near Olmütz in
the Czech Republic.
Miraculum - Thomas Tallis
Videte miraculum matris Domini; concepit
virgo virilis ignara consortii;
Stans onerata nobili onere Maria, et matrem se laetam cognoscit
quae se nescit uxorem.
Chant 1.Haec speciosum forma prae filiis hominum castis
Et benedicta in aeternum Deum nobis protulit et hominem.
Chant 2.Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Tomas Tallis was one of England’s foremost 16th
century composers who wrote monumental polyphonic works. In this
6-part setting of Videte miraculum, he initially sets the entire
text and follows this by the first piece of plainchant. The singers
then go back to the text starting at “Stans onerata...”
and sing to the end of the text. This is followed by the second
piece of chant, the Great Doxology. The piece ends with the choir
starting at the words “et matrem...”
chiu - Mateo Flecha the Elder
Riu, riu, chiu translates as God, keep the wolf
away from our sheep. Some also suggest it might be taken to mean
God, keep the devil away from our souls.
Music in the early Renaissance was rich in the Christmas theme
and this rhythmically exciting piece is one such example.
de Saba - Orlando di Lasso
Omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes
et laudem Domino annuntiantes. Alleluia.
Reges Tharsis et insulae munera offerent. Reges Arabum et Saba
dona adducent. Alleluia.
Lassus was a hugely prolific composer
and wrote in many different styles. This setting for double choir
shows off his polyphonic style with the 2 choirs sometimes singing
as 8 voices or in statement and response mode. An uplifting “Alleluia”
brings this piece to a close.
Úd i mBeithil - trad. Irish, arr. Eamonn Ó Gallchobhair
The Christmas story as told in Irish and sung by
Cois Cladaigh’s women.
Sleep, my Baby Dear -
This is a lullaby from a mother to her dear child.
McAuliffe wrote both the music and the text for this 3 verse piece
which tells the story of Christ’s birth from the Virgin
Mary’s perspective as she gently rocks her new born baby
The Fader of Heven - Peter
The Fader of Heven, God omnipotent that sett
alle on seven, His Son has He sent.
My name couthe he neven and light or he went, I conceived hym
full; even thrugh might as he ment.
And now is He born. He kepe you from wo; I shall pray Him so;
Telle furth as ye go, And myn on this morn.
Coinnle ar lasadh
The poet describes how candles will be lit in houses
on an island (Inishmór) on the west coast of Ireland to
celebrate Christmas. Except for a few notes, Judge has set the
words to music with a strongly traditional feel to it. This recording
was made at the 47th Cork International Choral Festival.
O Nata Lux - Thomas
As for Videte miraculum, Tallis interjects 5-part-writing
Gabriel’s Message - Eleanor
Daley’s writing style is very accessible
and in this setting of the well known text, she demonstrates her
skills in using different groupings of voices for each verse resulting
in an exultant overall effect.
A Christmas Carol - Charles Ives
Little star of Bethlehem, do we see thee now
do we see thee shining o’er the tall trees?
Little Child of Bethlehem do we hear thee in our hearts?
Hear the angels singing: “Peace on earth, goodwill to men,
O’er the cradle of a King hear the angels sing ”In
excelsis Gloria, Gloria”
From His Father’s home on high lo! For us He came to die.
Hear the angels sing:“Venite adoremus Dominum”.
Ives who is best known for his experimental music,
shows the more traditional and melodic side to his compositional
Rejoice and sing this Christmas morn - Eleanor Daley
This piece bursts with joy and you can hear the
long reverberation of St. Nicholas’ acoustic at the end
of this piece.
Pueri concinite - Johann von Herbeck
Pueri concinite, nato Regi psallite, voce pia
dicite, apparuit, quem genuit Maria.
Sunt impleta quae praedixit Gabriel. Eja, Virgo Deum genuit,
Quem divina voluit clementia.
Hodie apparuit in Israel, ex Maria Virgine, natus est Rex. Alleluia.
Von Herbeck sets the text for soloist with accompaniment.
This text is then repeated by 4 part choir with the soloist on
Julvisa - Jean Sibelius
A traditional Scandinavian melody set for solo voice
and 4 part choir.
Puer natus est nobis - Javier Busto
Puer natus est nobis
et Filius datus est nobis;
imperium super humerum ejus,
et vocabitur nomen eius,
Cantate Domino canticum novum,
quia mirabilia fecit.
Weihnachten - Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Rejoice you good people on earth, the Saviour has
appeared s the Lord
promised. Alleluia! (original in German)
Set for 8 part choir, the text sets the music content of this
A Christmas Medley - trad. arr. Joseph Jennings
Jennings set these snippets of 6 different Christmas
spirituals for the virtuoso U.S. male voice ensemble Chanticleer.