A Terrible Beauty – Northern Lights

On the Holiday Lights program:

In honor of our Fifth Anniversary this season, we will sing two pieces from our very first holiday concert – that mentioned in the former post, “Carol from an Irish Cabin”, and “Northern Lights” by Norwegian-born composer Ola Gjelio.

The composer says “this piece is and its text are about beauty. About a ‘terrible’ beauty, powerful beauty, although the music is quite serene on the surface…” as Gjeilo was looking out his window in Oslo, Norway one Christmas he thought about how “this ‘terrible’ beauty is so profoundly reflected in the northern lights, or aurora borealis…” with such “electric quality…mesmerizing…terrifying…”

 

      The stunning music sets the text:
Pulchra me, amica mea/suavis et decora sicut Jerusalem/terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata/ Averte oculos tuos a me/quia ipsi me avolare fecerunt.

      Which means:
Thou art beautiful, O my love/ sweet and comely as Jerusalem/ terrible as an army set in array/ turn away thy eyes from me, for they have made me flee away.

A Lamb, A Rose, A Cabin

On the Holiday Lights program: three works that will be led by our Assistant Conductor, Frank Whitcomb.

THE LAMB is a sweetly lyrical ballad composed by Christopher Matthews and based on a text by William Blake. Blake’s recognizable text, “Little lamb, who made thee, dost thou know who made thee?” was published in 1776 in “Songs of Innocence.” Blake originally intended his work to be sung, but his musical text was lost. Matthews has set this with a tender hand, evocative of the child-like wonder Blake sought to portray.

      THERE IS NO ROSE by Gary Garcia is based on the same text as Benjamin Britten used in his “Ceremony of Carols,” the rose referring to the Virgin Mary. Garcia’s modern setting is poignant and beautifully melodic. “There is no Rose of such virtue, as is the Rose that bare Jesu – “Res miranda, gaudeamus, transeamus, alleluia!”

       In CAROL FROM AN IRISH CABIN, the lonely speaker, living high above the sea, hopes for a visitor to help welcome a white Christmas. The composer, Dale Wood, musically captures a Celtic spirit in this lovely piece.

Madrigal Singers with Solaris!

Breaking News!

For our Saturday, December 16 concert at College Street Congregational in Burlington, the Champlain Valley Union High School Madrigal Singers (Hinesburg) will join Solaris for the carol “Fum! Fum! Fum!” and also have their solo moment.

We had the pleasure of hearing these young ladies sing for us this last week, and they are really marvelous! Yet another reason to join us for our Holiday Lights concert!

See them performing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSgoJfLntfY