Concert archive

Saturday 18th Dec. 2010 - Christmas by Candlelight

Norwich Baroque and The Cathedral Consort`s own atmospheric start to Christmas returned for a second time by popular request. An amazing 541 people braved the festive but freezing conditions for a sparkling evening of magical Christmas music in our beautiful candelit Cathedral.
Saturday 18th December 2010
Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral Consort and Norwich Baroque.
Conductor - David McKee
Leader - John Crockatt

Christmas Plainsong (from the West end)
O Come O Come Emanuel - traditional carol
Concerto Grosso Op.6 no.8 in G minor (Christmas Concerto) - Corelli
O Magnum Mysterium - Gabrieli
Quem Vidistis - Gabrieli
God Rest You Merry Gentlemen - Traditional carol
Excerpts from Messiah - Handel
Good King Wenceslas - Traditional carol

Trumpet fanfare
While Shepherds watched their flocks by night - Traditional carol
Concerto a quattro Op.8 no.6 - Torelli
Hodie Christus Natus Est - Gabrieli
Riu, Riu, Chiu - Traditional Spanish carol
Gaudete - Traditional
O Come all ye Faithful - Traditional carol
Excerpts from Messiah - Handel


Golden light enlivened by the flickering of candles made the Cathedral`s slender nave just the right setting for this Christmas concert. It went beyond traditional carols and included an appealing selection of seasonal music for orchestra and choir.

Led by John Crockatt, Norwich Baroque caught the spirit of Arcangelo Corelli`s Christmas Concerto, with its pretty last movement that is a miniature pastoral symphony with echos of shepherd`s pipes. A second concerto, by Torelli, was another delight as the delicate violin line was given sympathetic support throughout.

The Norwich Cathedral Consort, conducted by David McKee, set the mood for the evening with sturdy plainsong, the processed from the great west door singing O Come, O Come Emanuel. It next found inspiration in the complex but fascinating Venetian idiom of ambitious sacred works by Giovani Gabrieli. Unfortunately, poor tone from the top sopranos spoiled the effect of the last of them.
On more familiar ground, singers and players alike performed short Advent and Christmas sequences from Messiah, with trumpeters Ray Simmons and Bevin Mack adding festive splendour. Energetic and triumphant, the Hallelujah Chorus made a rousing finale.

Christopher Smith.