The Yale Camerata will ring in the holidays early this Saturday evening at their annual advent concert. The program — which will take place in Battell Chapel — comprises a range of choral works by composers Tomaso Albinoni, Josef Rheinberger, Johann Sebastian Bach and John Goss.
This performance will continue the Yale Camerata’s long tradition of winter holiday-themed concerts; this year’s performance is titled “Dona Nobis Pacem” — a Latin phrase that translates to “Grant Us Peace.”
“As we barrel into a busy holiday season, preceded by final papers and exams, this program of varied repertoire for chorus and orchestra is designed to give voice to one of the few things humans can agree on in these turbulent times: our universal longing for peace,” said the Camerata’s conductor Marguerite Brooks.
The concert will begin with 17th and 18th-century Italian composer Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni’s “Concerto for Two Oboes in F.” Composed in the Baroque style, this ten-minute concerto features a melodic call and response between the two solo oboes. Though in his time, Albinoni was known for composing operatic works, instrumental concertos such as this oboe piece are still featured in programs to this day.
“[This program] is diverse and yet accessible to musicians and audience members alike,” said Madeleine Woodworth MUS ’20, a student in the choral conducting program housed in both the Institute of Sacred Music and the School of Music. “It gives a Christmas feel without being as traditional as many [Christmas] concerts.”
Albinoni’s “Concerto for Two Oboes” will be followed by German composer Josef Rheinberger’s “Der Stern von Bethlehem” and “Abendlied,” which translate to “The Star of Bethlehem” and “Evening Song” respectively. Over nine movements, “Der Stern von Bethlehem” tells the story of the birth of Jesus, such as the appearance of angels and the arrival of shepherds. “Abendlied,” a six-part choral composition, is Rheinberger’s most famous religious work, which he began writing at age 15.
Choral conducting student Sarah Noble MUS ’20 described the two Rheinberger pieces as “sublime in their own ways” and said that “the strength of the full orchestra and chorus makes an incredible impact during the telling of the birth of Christ in ‘Der Stern von Bethlehem.’”
The Camerata will then perform the concert’s namesake — Bach’s 17th-century choral work “Dona nobis pacem” from his “Mass in B Minor.”
“I hope that the exposure of nontraditional Christmas music performed during this concert inspires the audience to seek out more classical music that is relatable to them,” Woodworth said.
The concert will close with 19th-century English composer John Goss’ “See, amid the winter’s snow” — a carol for both chorus and audience arranged by David Willcocks. Martin Jean, the director of the Institute of Sacred Music, will accompany the Camerata’s performance of this carol.
“I think that this program will be enjoyable for all to attend because of the emotional power of the pieces being performed,” Noble said. “Each movement brings the text to life and lends a fresh voice to the ultimate Christmas story.”
With the variety of pieces and composers for this performance, Brooks said that “there should be something for almost everybody.”
The concert will take place in Battell Chapel on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.
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