Christmastime in New York: Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Airs at 7 pm on Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, and Available for On-Demand Listening Below

Friday, December 25, 2015

Recorded live at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2012, the Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine presents a program that spans hundreds of years and tells the story of the nativity.

Under the direction of Kent Tritle, the program includes settings of the "O Magnum Mysterium" text by T. L. da Victoria, Morton Lauridsen, and Francis Poulenc; works by Byrd, Biebl, and Hassler; as well as music by Eric Whitacre, Francis Poulenc, William Byrd and Morten Lauridsen. WQXR's Nimet Habachy hosts.

Program details:

Gregorian Chant: Veni, veni Emanuel

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): O Magnum Mysterium (Motet)

Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa O Magnum Mysterium

Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612): Verbum caro factum est

Franz Biebl (1906-2001): Ave Maria

Peter Philips (c. 1560-1628): O Beatum et sacrosanctum diem

Eric Whitacre (c. 1970): Lux aurumque (2000)

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): Four Motets for the Christmas Season
I. O magnum mysterium
II. Quem vidistis pastores dicite
III. Videntes stellam
IV. Hodie Christus natus est

Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943): O magnum mysterium

William Byrd (1674-1744): Senex puerum portabat

Gregorian Chant: Conditor alme siderum

Coventry Carol: Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child

Produced by:

Aaron Dalton


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Comments [11]

Shepsl Topaz from Queens, NY

A fine Christmas program. But please correct the dates on William Byrd. This is not the only time I've seen these dates, which were clearly picked up from a fast and careless Google search. The William Byrd on this program is the Renaissance composer whose dates are 1543-1623. William Byrd II, 1674-1744, was a colonial Virginia landowner and certainly no musician. This is unworthy of WQXR!

May. 15 2016 11:33 PM
Rev Leslie Martin from Long Island, NY

Lovely lovely lovely selection. Radio playback always appreciated & luxuriously helpful!

Dec. 25 2014 06:59 PM

@ P Wieland from new york

I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some type of legal (or contract) issue regarding recordings of the St. Thomas choir and the attendant orchestras performing there. DD~~

Dec. 25 2014 02:57 AM
Douglas Bruce from basel. switzerland

Just as well so, sionce there was one heck of a lot of controversy about Music Director Kent Tritle's appointment, made without due competitive process. (This irked enough aspiring US candidates sufficiently for several complaints to be fiored off to the American Guil of Organists.

As if that were not enough, Trirle proceeded to tear up - unilaterally - the contracts of a score or more of booked recitalists (for Sunday evening fixtures)so as to push in his own associtiates into the vacated slots.

As another US cathedral organist has put it: "“I can't really shed any light on what has happened there other than to say that I don't find it that surprising given the person involved ¨ The Dean of the Cathedral, The Very Rev. James Kowalski….should know, if he does not already, that the actions of his employee have adversely affected the reputation of St. John the Divine, if not the USA altogether”.....

Jul. 12 2014 03:41 PM
P Wieland from new york

Why don't you do something with the Choir of men and boys of St. Thomas Church with their outstanding musicality as shown in christmas presentations and various other musical selections. The Boy choristers are part of the only residential choir school in the US and only one of two schools in the Western hemisphere. Their director John Scott and the choir have been acclaimed by music critics in New York and elsewhere

Dec. 13 2013 11:27 AM
Anna Lopes from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Very moving!

Dec. 12 2013 02:40 PM
francis booth from new york city

the "coventry carol" usually leaves me choked up, not only because of the beauty of the music and the heartwrenching "picardy third" ( i think that is the correct term)
but because of the terrible tragedy it preceeds in the conventry cathedral christmas mystery play from which it is that song which is crooned to the babies of bethlehem by their mothers the night before herod's troops arrive in town to slaughter those innocent infants,in an ultimately unsucessful attempt to kill his reputedly potential rival,jesus,in his infancy........
i think of breughel's "slaughter of the innocents" as the visual equivalent of the carol
n.b. i cannot footnote the above. please correct me if i am off the mark here

Dec. 11 2013 11:19 PM
Jenny Im

The music was truly heavenly. But I regret that I was only hear a glimpse of the program. I wonder if there is a way for me to hear the entire program.

Dec. 11 2013 10:57 PM
Suresh Paul from Princeton, NJ

Utter JOY! Thanks for sharing the beauty and blessings of these musical selections with many of us who are listening on radio!

Dec. 11 2013 10:51 PM
Mary Jo Clayton from Manhattan

Some of the most beautiful Christmas music I've heard. Truly heavenly. Thanks, Nimette.

Dec. 11 2013 10:30 PM
judy Spurrell

Wish I could be there wonderful choice of music!

Dec. 11 2013 01:25 PM

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