The Sounds of Advent

Choral Music for the Season of Advent

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

From the lighting of trees, to Lessons & Carols and Vespers, New York City is geared up for the holiday season. This week on the Choral Mix, Kent Tritle offers selections for the Advent season, from chant to the music of J.S. Bach.

Bach's celebrated cantata, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme was composed in 1731 for the Sunday prior to Advent, and more specifically, the 27th Sunday after trinity. A chorale cantata, Bach chose the the famous chorale "Wachet auf" by 16th-century pastor and composer Philipp Nicolai to serve as the foundation of the work. Gloriously scored for a full choir, orchestra and soloists, the text comes from the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. The magnificent cantata remains one of Bach's most beloved masterpieces. We hear an exquisite performance by Netherlands Bach Collegium directed by Pieter Jan Leusink, bringing our Advent celebration to a magnificent close.

Also on this week's celebration are works by Palestrina, Tallis and others.


Advent Processional


More Sublime Chant

The Cathedral Singers

Richard Proulx




Heavenly Harmonies

Stile Antico 


Komm, Jesu, komm


Wondrous Love

Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola

Kent Tritle



Audivi Vocem


Tudor City

New York Polyphony


This is the Record of John


Orlando Gibbons: With a Merrie Noyse

Magdalen College Choir


Fretwork Viols

Bill Ives


Conditor alme siderum


Musica Vaticana


Alexander Blachly



Once as I remember

Monteverdi Choir

John Eliot Gardiner


Wachet auf    

Wann kömmst du    

Zion hört die Wächter singen   

Gloria sei dir gesungen      


Bach Edition: Cantatas

Netherlands Bach Collegium

Pieter Jan Leusink 

Comments [4]

Peter from Oakland, New Jersey

Hmm . . . Advent. Interesting to see this on here, since on the station (WQXR) we have already rushed into Christmas, which will be killed off on December 31 on the special site and on December 25th on the station proper. These are the 7th and 1st "days of Christmas" in the non-shopping-frenzy sense, but even though this is no longer a commercial station it is governed by the rules of Fifth Avenue, I suppose. If there were any Valentine's Day music, perhaps it would be starting on January 1, which is when the stores are told they must start pushing it.

Dec. 05 2011 04:12 PM
david dunkle from OKC

Funny typo: Palestrina's Alma Redemptoris mater, gets a "special" English translation of "Once I remember". The study of Latin and the Classics ain't what it used to be!!

Nice music tonight. Festa, especially. Wonderful piece, sung by a wonderful choir.

Dec. 04 2011 09:19 PM
marian from Florida

I was able to listen to Kent Trittle's show on Dec. 4 one time. When I returned to listen again, after dinner, I couldn't get the audio feed at all. I did the same thing I did before, to no avail. Can you help me?

Dec. 04 2011 07:20 PM
Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

The good news: listening to this beautiful, calm holy music at 7:30 a.m. is a sppiritual music. The Palestrina is putting me me in a different world, a different reality.

The bad news: Reading about Kent Tritle's Sunday routine in the NYTimes, starting with a 6 a.m. reveille, is leaving me exhausted.

Does this guy ever get any rest?

Actually, we are all lucky that he does not.

Dec. 04 2011 07:41 AM

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