Follow the Star

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dc.contributor.author Grylls, Karen en
dc.contributor.author Johnsson, Catrin en
dc.contributor.other Grylls, K en
dc.contributor.other Johnsson, Catrin en
dc.coverage.spatial St. Mary of the Angels, Wellington; St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, St. Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland. en
dc.date.accessioned 2020-02-03T00:58:35Z en
dc.identifier.citation Three Recitals.A National Tour, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir. St. Mary of the Angels, Wellington; St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, St. Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland.. 17 Jul 2019 - 21 Jul 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/49729 en
dc.description.abstract Follow the Star… Welcome to this mid-winter Yulefest concert with Voices New Zealand, a celebration of the story of Christmas in music, with spoken poems by English poet and writer, Godfrey Rust. As many of our Christmas carols with their familiar tunes come from the northern hemisphere, for this series of concerts, I wanted to find out what our New Zealand composers’ take on some of these familiar tunes would be. We therefore follow the star which led the wise men south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the northern hemisphere to witness the miracle of the birth of Christ; and then travel further south to the stars of the Matariki for a southern hemisphere view. Rust’s poems challenge and guide us along the way. The programme is divided into five sections which variously focus on the events and characters in the Christmas story, the stars and finally celebrate the birth of Christ; each of the sections has works by composers from the northern hemisphere, some familiar carols and others written on familiar Christmas texts; included are commissions from six of our New Zealander composers. It all begins with the rather startling news that the obedience of the Virgin Mary, chosen as the handmaid of the Lord and the Mother of God, cured the disobedience of Eve in the Garden of Eden, “ave fit ex eva.” Two settings of Nova Nova, one by English composer, Bob Chilcott, and the other by Samoan composer Igelese Ete tell the news with very different vocal colours and styles; listen out for the lower-pitched, cupped claps from the basses in Ete’s setting and Chilcott’s “hard and folksy” groove. To complete this first part of the recital, Chris Artley’s rhythmic setting challenges the traditional carol Deck the Halls as we know it, and ends with a soft-toned, jazzy, added eleventh chord. The great mystery of the virgin birth is found in Elder’s O magnum mysterium with its sparkling triplets. Each word and idea represent a mystical thought, a seamless progression from one emotion to the next. Anthony Ritchie’s setting of the mediaeval carol Es ist ein Ros follows; in this text the rose is a symbolic reference for the Virgin Mary, the setting is flowing and chant-like. Shepherds, Kings and Things… has music from two New Zealand composers and a Canadian composer. David Hamilton has arranged the French carol Quittez pasteurs and Eve de Castro Robinson has set “We Three Kings” in a vigorous, rhythmic style with a drum accompaniment Star of Wonder. While David explores the sounds of drums and bagpipes in his setting, Eve asks the singers to perform in a chant-like and ritualistic manner. Canadian, Stephanie Martin has set an anonymous 16th century poem to a melody from a plainchant antiphon for Christmas day. Her setting is inspired by William Byrd’s Advent Carol from The Songs of Sundrie Natures (1589) with flexible, chant-style melodies, solos and rich eight-part textures. The stillness and the complete sense of awe of Christmas is represented by the next two works about stars: these are Ešenvalds Stars and Elder’s Star Sonnet. These two exquisite settings invoke the mystery of the light and the miracle of Christmas. Ešenvalds uses tuned glasses to create the mystical textures which Sara Teasdale’s text explores, “a heaven full of stars… myriads with beating hearts of fire.” Elder’s Star Sonnet, the second piece from a larger work, takes on the form of a Shakespearean sonnet as it describes a single star in the night sky. To celebrate the birth of Christ, Tavener’s Birthday Sleep takes the words of Welsh poet, Vernon Watkins, which re-create divine events and place them in everlasting light; in response, the music moves between awe and inner silence. And to conclude this programme of Yuletide music, Robert Wiremu’s work starts with a story from the very first New Zealand Christmas, 1642; there were extra rations of wine for Tasman’s crew and a freshly-killed pig. The scene then returns to the familiar chant text Hodie Christus natus est, with its rhythmic and many-faceted textures, as if it had been going on for all time. en
dc.description.uri https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/otago-daily-times/20190722/281711206238329 en
dc.format.extent 75 minutes per recital en
dc.relation.ispartof Three Recitals: A National Tour, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Follow the Star en
dc.type Performance en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.author-url https://www.radio13.co.nz/articles/concert-review-magic-midwinter-yulefest-with-voices-new-zealand/ en
pubs.commissioning-body Choirs Aotearoa, New Zealand en
pubs.finish-date 2019-07-21 en
pubs.start-date 2019-07-17 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 790700 en
pubs.org-id Creative Arts and Industries en
pubs.org-id Music en
pubs.events Grylls, K. (Conductor), Johnsson, C.J. (Vocal Consultant). en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2020-01-09 en
pubs.repertoire Chilcott "Nova, Nova', Elder "O magnum mysterium", Martin "An Earthly Tree", Ešenvalds "Stars", Tavener "Birthday Sleep"; Six NZ commissions en


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