Concert archive

"Christmas by Candlelight" December 2008

In the candlelit beauty of the Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Baroque again joined forces with the Cathedral Consort for our own atmospheric visit back in time to Christmas of the 17th and early 18th Centuries.
Saturday 20th December 2008
Norwich Cathedral

Director : Paul Clarke
Conductors : David McKee and Tom Primrose

Traditional Christmas plainsong
Concerto Grosso Op.6 no.8 - the "Christmas Concerto"- Corelli
Messe de Minuit de Noel - Charpentier
Hodie Christus natus est - Sweelinck
Concerto Grosso Op.3 no.12 "Christmas concerto" - Manfredini
"O come, o come Emanuel" - traditional carol
Cantata BWV 140 "Wachet Auf" - J.S. Bach
Concerto a quattro Op.8 no.6 "Christmas Eve concerto" - Torelli
Quem Pastores - Anon
In Dulci Jubilo - Anon
Riu Riu Chiu - Anon
O come all ye faithful - Traditional carol
Praeludium, Fuga and Ciacona - organ processional - Buxtehude


Flickering yellow candlelight brought atmosphere to this concert of seasonal music. It was performed by the Norwich Cathedral Consort and Norwich Baroque.

Echoing plainsong created mood, and the pastoral episode of Corelli`s Christmas Concerto was charming.

Opening with a remarkably cheerful kyrie and ending with the briefest prayer for peace, Charpentier`s Midnight Mass had greater depth in its middle sections. The chorus, under Tom Primrose, responded alertly to their changes of emotion.

Sweelinck`s Hodie Christus came across as joyous proclamation.

David Mckee conducted Sleepers Wake, J.S Bach`s cantata for the last Sunday before Advent. Keith Hobday was the fluent violin soloist in the first duet. The extended second one was sung by Jemima Jackson and Jeremy Davis with almost playful delight.

The continuo cellist Philp Trzebiatowski, tirelessly under-pinned the repetitive melody, keeping the beat light and lively. Voices and instruments combined in the triumph of the sturdy German Chorale.

In a final group of carols, the echoing vaults of the nave were cleverly used to suggest shepherds abiding in the fields.

The open-air theme was kept up in a thrilling Spanish evocation of the nightingale`s song.

Organ music by Buxtehude concluded a fine, if slightly over-long programme.