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To Shorten Winter's Sadness - an early English Christmas

Thursday December 14, 2023 at 19:30
St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London
£16, £12 (students, under 25s)
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. The Boar's Head Carol - arranged by Edward Stauff
  2. To Shorten Winter's Sadness - Thomas Weelkes
  3. Ding Dong! Merrily on high - Traditional, arranged by Charles Wood
  4. Ecce virgo concipiet - William Byrd
  5. Rorate caeli desuper - William Byrd
  6. While shepherds watched their flock - Traditional, aranged by Sir David Willcocks
  7. Quem vidistis, pastores? - Richard Dering
  8. O beatum et sacrosanctum diem - Peter Philips
  9. The First Nowell - Traditional, arranged by Sir David Willcocks
  10. This day Christ was born - William Byrd
  11. Reges Tharsis - John Sheppard
  12. Videte miraculum - Thomas Tallis
  13. Lo, how a rose e'er blooming - Michael Praetorius
  14. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen/Det är en ros utsprungen - Jan Sandström

In the darkness of winter, we look for the light. We get together for religious reflection, to share supper, to feast and have fun into the night – tomorrow will be a brighter day!

Composers throughout time have captured in their compositions these spiritual, sacred and secular occasions – and to mark the 400th anniversary of Byrd’s and Weelkes’ deaths this year, Orlando Chamber Choir focuses on the sound of an early English Christmas. Byrd’s splendid polyphony, and that of his teacher Tallis, accompany the annunciation and the birth of Christ, to which Philips adds triumphant trumpets and a choir of angels. Dering intones the shepherds' travels, and Sheppard gives glorious voices to the magi’s veneration.

Praetorius’s Lo, how a rose, set in the people’s language rather than that of the Church, leads us gently towards more secular celebrations; and Sandstöm’s contemporary setting of the same tune transports the party to the concert day – which is where you join in with the audience carols!

Our programme is framed by earthly secular works about feasts and further falala – with wine and mince pies in the interval.

St Botolph without Bishopsgate

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