Christmas in New York

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Moravian star (yumievriwan/flickr)

On this edition of The Choral Mix, we celebrate Christmas from New York with choral music from several of the city's finest vocal ensembles. We play classic recordings from the New York Philharmonic, the ladies of Anonymous 4 and contemporary arrangements from the remarkable Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Plus, our Choral Story of the Week with the president of Make Music New York, Aaron Friedman.

The ladies of Anonymous 4 are best known for their recordings of chant and early polyphony. We play two songs of theirs for the season, The Shepherd’s Star followed by Now May We Syngyn. For a male perspective, Frederick Renz leads the gentlemen of Early Music New York with Merrit Woodruff’s Cradle Hymn.

We also hear a recording of the Men and Boys from St. Thomas Church performing Jan Sandstrom’s ethereal arrangement of Lo How a rose ere blooming, in addition to the gents of New York Polyphony in their versions of Veni Redemptor Gentium and Nunc dimittis.

There are other great hymns and carol arrangements are featured on the program to get you in the right frame of mind for this holiday season.



Anon./ The Cherry Tree - Songs, Carols & Ballads for Christmas/ Anonymous 4

The Shepherd’s Star

Now May We Syngyn


Merrit Woodruff/ A Colonial Christmas/Early Music New York, Fred Renz

Cradle Hymn

Praetorius, arr. by Jan Sandstrom/ Christmas on Fifth Avenue/ The Choir of St. Thomas Church, John Scott

Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen


arr. Vaughan Williams/ Silent Night/ Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, Kent Tritle

The Truth from Above


Orlando di Lasso/Old World Christmas/Pomerium, Alexander Blachly

Resonet in Laudibus A 5 (for five voices)


Smith/ I Sing The Birth/ New York Polyphony

Veni Redemptor Gentium

Nunc dimittis


Met Museum Presents the Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Kent Tritle, Director

Recorded Sunday, December 9, 2012 by WQXR

Hans Leo Hassler/ Verbum caro factum est

Peter Philips/ O Beatum et sacrosanctum diem


Billings/ A Waverly Consort Christmas/ Waverly Consort/ Michael Jaffee

Bethlehem (The Singing Master's Assistant, Boston, 1778)


Welcome Yule! English Christmas Carols and Motets/Musica Sacra, Richard Westenburg

Deck the Halls

Wassail Song (Gloucestershire Carol)


Coolside of Yuletide/ Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Francisco Nunez

Let it Snow

Little Drummer Boy


arr. Leroy Robertson/The Joy of Christmas/New York Philharmonic and Mormon Tabernacle Choir,, Leonard Bernstein

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

O come all ye faithful  

Comments [3]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

HANDEL'S ORATORIOS ARE THE MOST REVERED OF HIS COMPOSITIONS. ONE THAT IS NOT AS OFTEN PERFORMED AS IT DESERVES TO BE IS HIS "JUDAS MACCABAEUS." ITS "SOUND AN ALARM"' IS STIRRING. IT'S MY CLOSING SELECTION ON MY SOLO DEBUT IN THE ISAAC STERN AUDITORIUM OF CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT "{LIVE" ON MY VALHALLA RECORDS CD AND MAY BE DOWNLOADED FROM MY THREE WEBSITES. MOST CLASSICAL MUSIC, INCLUDING CHRISTMAS CAROLS, THE MESSIAH, ELIJAH, BACH'S CANTATAS, HYMNS AND MOTETS AND OPERAS LIKE BOHEME AND TRAVIATA THAT HAVE ALLUSIONS TO CHRISTMAS AND COMIC OR JOLLY OPERAS LIKE THE BARBER, L'ELISIR, CENERENTOLA AND DIE MEISTERSINGER AND PARTICULARLY HOUSEHOLD "CHESTNUTS" ARE EXCELLENT INGREDIENTS FOR A MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! , My cousin MICHAEL BLANKFORT wrote both the books and screenplays for the 1953 film THE JUGGLER Hollywood film made in Israel starring KIRK DOUGLAS and the 1950 Hollywood film BROKEN ARROW starring JAMES STEWART and JEFF CHANDLER [Cochise]. The music for THE JUGGLER was composed by opera composer GEORGE ANTHEIL, in whose opera VOLPONE I sang the tenor leading role [Mosca] in its professional world premiere in NEW YORK in 1953. ANTHEIL, famous for his opera TRANSATLANTIC and BALLET MECHANIQUE looked exactly like Peter Lorre. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. It, and from the same concert, can be heard my singing Florestan's "Gott, welch Dunkel hier ! from Beethoven's FIDELIO and "Sound an Alarm" from Handel's JUDAS MACXCABAEUS in the live performance on my three websites,, ,, and It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Frieda Hempel, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. In another commentary on one commented about all operas that were once NEW but now not new anymore should be archived like museum pieces. That implies that just being new is better than old. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. My singing of TRISTAN, GOTTERDAMMERUNG SIEGFRIED, SIEGFRIED, SIEGMUND, RIENZI, LOHENGRIN, WALTHER VON STOLZING PARSIFAL, ELEAZAR, FEDERICO, ORFEO and OTELLO can also be heard at RECORDED SELECTIONS on the three websites.

Dec. 25 2012 06:26 PM
carole from brooklyn, ny

I loved this program! It was full, rich and beautiful. A lot of lovely pieces to increase our joy and pleasure. Thanks you for the excellent selections.

Dec. 18 2012 04:50 PM
Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

The pure, ethereal voices of Anonymous 4 are the perfect accompaniment to this cold, damp Sunday morning in Manhattan and capture the essence of the season.

Merry Christmas.

Dec. 16 2012 09:42 AM

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