Less Than a Week Before Christmas

from Nativity, Domenico Ghirlandaio, c.1480

from Nativity, Domenico Ghirlandaio, c.1480

We’re counting down the days on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 20th at 9 pmLess Than a Week Before Christmas is David Golub’s work for chorus and orchestra: about the cold, about a friend. Morten Lauridsen contemplates the wonder of animals at the nativity manger in one of our time’s most-sung pieces, O Magnum Mysterium.

Composer Jennifer Higdon becomes her own poet for Deep in the Night, pondering “this season of love with full brilliant lights.” Daron Hagen combines two melodies we recognize with a beautiful one we don’t—because he just wrote it—in a work for choir with cello, At Bethlehem Proper. Rounding out the choral works on the program is While All Things Were in Quiet Silence by Ned Rorem.

Two instrumental works find their way in, though. Advent has the same feeling that imbues Yearning, the lovely work for violin and strings by Shulamit Ran, dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin. For solo guitar is the suite of Rick Sowash, helping us count down the days, For an Old Friend at Christmas.

from Rick Sowash: Guitar Suite: For an Old Friend at Christmas 

PROGRAM:
Peter Golub: Less Than a Week Before Christmas
Morten Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium
Shulamit Ran: Yearning
Jennifer Higdon: Deep in the Night
Rick Sowash: Guitar Suite: For an Old Friend at Christmas
Daron Hagen: At Bethlehem Proper
Ned Rorem: While All Things Were in Quiet Silence

Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith brings you Now Is the Time, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream. Just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM-HD2, or find all the frequencies here, from the Jersey Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Delaware. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI! 

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