Music Alive

8:00 PM Today

Celebrate Christmas with the APO

Ben Makisi (ten), Graduate Choir, Auckland Philharmonia/Brett Kelly

HANDEL: Every valley shall be exalted, from Messiah; BACH: Sheep may safely graze, from Cantata No 208, Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!; BERLIOZ: Act 2 Overture, The Flight into Egypt, from The Childhood of Christ; TCHAIKOVSKY: December, Christmas, from The Seasons; ARTLEY: The Ashwell Carol; MENOTTI: Shepherd's dance, from Amahl & the Night Visitors; TRAD: O come, all ye faithful; GARDNER: Tomorrow shall be my dancing day; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on Greensleeves; ADAM: O Holy Night; RUTTER: Sans Day Carol; Donkey Carol; SCHUBERT arr Tyzik: Ave Maria D839; FOX arr Lane: Carol Fantasia; MENDELSSOHN arr Willcocks: Hark! the herald angels sing; GRUBER arr Maskell: Silent Night (recorded in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland by RNZ)

8:00 PM Tomorrow

Alleluia: a newë work!

The Ceremony of Birth and Death

Helen Webby (harp), Baroque Voices/Pepe Becker (dir)

BRITTEN: A Ceremony of Carols; SHORTIS: Songs of Thomas Moore; A RITCHIE: Coverings; KEAM: Uncertainty/Eternity (Demeter/Ursula/Buddha); FARR: La Próxima Vez (Next Time Around); BECKER: na jayate mriyate; BOWATER: in the east, to the right; SMYTHE: Persephone (recorded in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Wellington by RNZ)

8:00 pm on Saturday (20 Dec 2014)

A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

A service led by the Very Reverend Frank Nelson, with readings from the staff, clergy and choir members - Choir of Wellington Cathedral of St Paul/Michael Fulcher (dir), Richard Apperley (org) (recorded in the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul by RNZ)

Coming Up on Music Alive

8:00 pm Friday 19 December: Baroque Voices

Baroque VoicesThis concert places a not-so-old work which uses ancient (Middle English) text - Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols for high voices and harp, alongside seven new New Zealand works for the same combination.

They include Songs of Thomas Moore by Carol Shortis, Coverings by Anthony Ritchie, Uncertainty, Eternity (Demeter/ Ursula / Buddha) by Glenda Keam, Gareth Farr’s La Próxima Vez (Next Time Around), in the east, to the right by Helen Bowater, Pepe Becker’s na jayate mriyate, and Persephone by Mark Smythe. Together they form a companion suite (The Ceremony of Birth and Death) to go alongside the Britten work.

Alleluia: a newë work!

The Ceremony of Birth and Death

Helen Webby (harp), Baroque Voices/Pepe Becker (dir)

BRITTEN: A Ceremony of Carols; SHORTIS: Songs of Thomas Moore; A RITCHIE: Coverings; KEAM: Uncertainty/Eternity (Demeter/Ursula/Buddha); FARR: La Próxima Vez (Next Time Around); BECKER: na jayate mriyate; BOWATER: in the east, to the right; SMYTHE: Persephone

This concert was recorded live in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Wellington by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Saturday 20 December: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Christmas First held on Christmas Eve 1918 at King’s College Cambridge, The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols had been planned by Eric Milner-White. At the age of 34 he had just been appointed Dean of King’s after experience as an army chaplain, which convinced him the Church of England needed more imaginative worship.

A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun as it does tonight with the hymn Once in Royal David’s City. 

This programme was recorded live in Wellington Cathedral of St Paul by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Monday 22 December: The Tudor Consort

Tudor ConsortThe programme includes a collection of Christmas anthems and carols from the medieval period through to the 16th century from throughout Europe. For nearly 30 years the Tudor Consort has tried to do everything with a historically informed process. When their director, Michael Stewart decided to sing carols in middle English, he said they should be pronounced as they would have been heard in their day.  

Stewart believes this makes familiar works like The Coventry Carol almost like a different piece with its unfamiliar sounds. Included in the programme are works by Thomas Tallis, Palestrina, Walter Lambe, Orlande di Lassus and William Byrd.

Puer natus est nobis

Jane McKinlay (sop), Phillip Collins, Richard Taylor, Philip Roderick (tens), Tudor Consort/Michael Stewart

ANON Sarum chant: A solis ortus cardine; Ther is no Ros; Hayl Mary, full of grace; LAMBE: Stella caeli; ANON: Coventry carol; BALLOT: Sweet was the song; BYRD: This day Christ was born; LAMBE: Nesciens mater; ANON: Verbum caro factum est; GUERRERO: A un niño llorando al yelo; TALLIS: Videte miraculum; PALESTRINA: Hodie Christus natus est; O magnum mysterium; MOUTON: Quaeramus cum pastoribus; LASSUS: Resonet in laudibus

Recorded live in Wellington’s Sacred Heart Cathedral by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Thursday 25 December: Viva Voce

Viva VoceUnder musical director John Rosser, Viva Voce sings a varied selection traditional candlelit carols, seasonal choral works and popular sentimental yuletide songs in sparkling a cappella arrangements.

Specialising in the innovative programming and attractive presentation of a huge variety of music, Viva Voce strives equally for excellence and entertainment. Its members are trained singers and several have won success in this country’s top vocal competitions.

What better way to make your spirits bright; tune in and enjoy a merry little Christmas with Viva Voce.

Viva Voce/John Rosser

Yuletide Carols Being Sung by a Choir

CAURROY: Noël, Sus, troupe chantresse; BRITTEN: A boy was born; CHILCOTT: The shepherd's carol; TRAD arr Williams: Mary had a baby; TRAD arr Rathbone: Coventry carol; ROBERTS: Poverty; TRAD arr Wood: Ding dong! merrily on high; PIERPONT arr Rathbone: Jingle bells; TORME/WELLS arr Gritton: The Christmas song; PRAETORIUS: Resonet in laudibus; LAURIDSEN: O magnum mysterium; TAVENER: The lamb; TRAD arr Rathbone: Carol medley; MARTIN/BLAINE arr Gritton: Have yourself a merry little Christmas; TRAD: The twelve days of Christmas

Recorded live in Auckland Town Hall by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Friday 26 December: Emma Fraser

Emma FraserThis concert from Orchestra Wellington and the Orpheus Choir, recorded in November includes Haydn’s Symphony No 87, A major and Carl Orff’s sweeping choral work, Carmina Burana with soloists Emma Fraser (soprano), Henry Choo (tenor) and James Clayton (baritone).

Carmina Burana consists of 24 poems set to music by Carl Orff in 1936. The poems were part of a manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century, although some are from the 13th century. The pieces are mostly bawdy, irreverent, and satirical; they were written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces of Old French or Provençal.

Orff's composition quickly became popular and a staple piece of the classical music repertoire. The opening and closing movement, "O Fortuna", has been used in countless films.

Emma Fraser (sop), Henry Choo (ten), James Clayton (bar), Orpheus Choir, Wellington Young Voices Choir, Orchestra Wellington/Marc Taddei

ORFF: Carmina Burana

Recorded in Wellington Town Hall by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Saturday 27 December: Bold Worlds

Bold WorldCurrie himself approached the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho to request a percussion concerto, and the new work, Sieidi, had its world première in April 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall in London with Finnish maestro Osmo Vänskä (who also conducts this NZSO performance).

This engagingly fresh concerto is framed by two other modern masterpieces.  Arvo Pärt’s stunning Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten was composed in the wake of Britten’s passing. Carl Nielsen’s Fifth Symphony is a study of contrasts, and signals his mastery of the symphonic form.

This concert was recorded in the Auckland Town Hall by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Monday 29 December: Pike River Miners remembrance

LilliesOf particular significance is the world première of a commission by New Zealand’s best-known singer-songwriter, Dave Dobbyn. His song, dedicated to the men whose lives were lost in the tragedy of Pike River will be performed by Dave and his band, and features a choral arrangement by the Choir’s Music Director Mark Dorrell.

A second première is If Blood Be the Price, Wellington Brass Band’s commission by New Zealand composer Ross Harris with lyrics by Vincent O’Sullivan, recalling the Waihi miners’ strike in 1912.

The major work is the New Zealand première of an acclaimed composition by British composer James McCarthy – 17 Days – recalling the Chilean mining accident in the same year as the Pike River tragedy.

Recorded live in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre by Radio New Zealand