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Choral Music for the Holidays
While the Sangre de Cristo Chorale and Coro de Camara have already performed their respective holiday concerts earlier in the month, there is plenty of choral music ahead during the Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s holiday season. I could be considered prejudiced towards the Desert Chorale because of my association with them many years ago. But, if you have never experienced a concert by this world-class ensemble during the holiday season in Santa Fe, one should be on your personal “bucket list.”
The chorale’s December concerts in Santa Fe are held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis on December 14, 18, 20, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. The magic of this superb choral ensemble of 20 distinguished voices in the holiday setting of the Cathedral Basilica is an experience to be treasured for the rest of your life.
For this year’s version of a Santa Fe tradition, Music Director Joshua Habermann leads the ensemble in a program of old and new musical treasures from around the world. Highlighting the program will be Franz Biebl’s much-loved “Ave Maria and Serenity”, a gorgeous setting of the “O Magnum Mysterium” text by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. Also to be heard is a group of Spanish carols, including “A la Nanita Nana” and “Alegría,” plus a medley of two spirituals, “Glory Hallelujah to the Newborn King” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” The popular side of holiday music will be represented by two chestnuts: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas”. As is tradition, Sir Malcolm Sargent’s beautiful arrangement of “Silent Night” will close the program.
Other Musical Celebrations of the Season
While choral music is often synonymous with the holiday season, there are several concerts of terrific instrumental music and instrumental mixed with vocal music on tap from now through the New Year.
First up is the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Orchestra’s offering of a Baroque Christmas at the Loretto Chapel at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. each evening from December 20 through Christmas Eve, the 24th, with soprano, Liesl Odenweller and mezzo soprano, Deborah Domanski. The program includes Purcell’s “Suite from the ‘Fairy Queen,’” “Nulla in mundo pax sincera”, by Vivaldi, Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto in G Minor” and traditional carols.
Tickets are available at the Pro Musica Box Office at 988-4640.
Speaking of Christmas Eve, the 24th provides other choices, as well. The Santa Fe Concert Association’s annual concert at the Lensic features 11-year old pianist and composer Emily Bear. Plus, Joe Illick and the Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra will present selections including classics, jazz and compositions by Beethoven, Schumann and Emily Bear. The concert is 5 p.m. at the Lensic.
As we get closer to the end of the year the schedule gets even busier.
On December 27, Santa Fe Concert Association presents Sutton Foster, the two-time Tony Award® winning Broadway star of “Thoroughly Modern Millie’ in 2002 and “Anything Goes’ in 2011. 7:30 p.m. at The Lensic.
On December 29 and 30 at St. Francis Auditorium, the Pro Musica Orchestra presents a Mozart Holiday, featuring Stephen Redfield, violin, Kimberly Fredenburgh, viola, and Kathryn Mueller, soprano, with Tom O’Connor conducting and a program consisting of the “Sinfonia Concertante in E-Flat Major,” K. 364, “Exsultate Jubilate,” K. 165 and “Symphony No. 40 in G Minor,” K. 550. Tickets are available at the Pro Musica Box Office at 988-4640.
The musical year ends with a New Year’s Eve Concert by the Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra and the Harlem String Quartet. In this Santa Fe classical music New Year's Eve concert, get carried away with Leonard Bernstein’s rousing “Overture to ‘Candide,’” a concerto for string quartet and orchestra based on “West Side Story,” a magnificent oratorio for chorus and orchestra, anda few celebratory surprises!
December 31 at 5 p.m. at the Lensic.
Happy Musical Holidays!