Mid-Winter Themes

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The deep, mid-winter freeze has has made itself felt this year in New York. In the spirit of frost sparkling in twilight and flurries falling at dusk, we explore mid-winter-themed compositions on this edition of The Choral Mix.

Since the Victorian era, choral composers have set thematic texts to music to mark the season. Consider Morten Lauridsen's Mid-Winter Songs, which are settings of Robert Graves's poems, as well as Vincent Persichetti's Winter Cantata featuring woman's voices, a flute and marimba. 

Other homages to winter include The Snow, one of Edward Elgar's elegantly lyrical choral pieces evoking of the sharpness of winter; and Eric Whitacre’s Sleep, originally conceived as a composition set to Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on A Snowy Evening.



Elgar/ Wondrous Love/ BYU Women’s Chorus, Jean Apploine
The Snow   

Persichetti/ Persichetti: Choral Works/ Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Tamara Brook
Winter Cantata  

Whitacre/ Whitacre Choral Music/ Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison

Lauridsen/Lauridsen: Nocturnes/ Polyphony and Britten Symphonia, Stephen Layton
Mid-Winter Songs   

Arr. Michael Hale/ Appalachian Sketches/Gloriae Dei Cantores, Brother Richard Cragg, tenor, Elizabeth C. Patterson