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An introduction to A Tafelmusik Christmas by Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Director Ivars Taurins

Ivars Taurins, Director, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

This year is the first in four decades in which Tafelmusik is not presenting its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. We had also planned to offer Bach’s glowing Christmas Oratorio this season.

The cathartic joy, solace, and refreshment for the soul that these works bring to audience and performers alike led me to try to create something meaningful and beautiful to fill the void we were facing.

Combining something familar with something new to us, I turned to the joyous chorus and tender chorales from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and paired this with a beautifully serene shepherd’s chorus from a Christmas pastorale by Charpentier: “Source de lumière” (Source of light) radiates peace and hope. I shared my selections with our Music Director, Elisa Citterio, for her to illuminate with instrumental works written for Christmastide. She has chosen atmospheric and uplifting music by Heinichen, Vivaldi, Lalande, and Corrette. The result is a festive mélange of 17th- and 18th-century music for Christmas, to which we have added some familiar carols in baroque settings.

I am delighted to share the gift of joy and hope that music offersall of us.

Ivars Taurins
Director, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

Directed by Elisa Citterio and Ivars Taurins

Download Texts & Translations

Michel Richard de Lalande (1657–1727)
Symphonie des Noëls
Symphonie – Ou s’en vont ces gays bergers – Symphonie – Une jeune pucelle – Symphonie – Elle alloit au temple

* * *

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) Chorus “Ehre sei dir, Gott,” from Christmas Oratorio
J.S. Bach Chorale “Schaut hin, dort liegt im finstern Stall,” from Christmas Oratorio
Johann David Heinichen (1683–1729) Pastorale in A Major, S.242
J.S. Bach Chorale “Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier,” from Christmas Oratorio

* * *

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Pifa, from Messiah

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)
Chamber concerto in D Major, “La Pastorella” (The Shepherdess)
Allegro – Largo – Allegro

Alison Melville, recorder | Marco Cera, oboe | Christopher Verrette, violin
Dominic Teresi, bassoon | Pippa Macmillan, double bass | Christopher Bagan, harpsichord

Marc-Antonie Charpentier (1643–1704)
Nuit [Night], from In nativitatem Domini canticum
Chorus of Shepherds “Source de lumière et de grâce,”fromPastorale sur la naissance de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ

* * *

Michel Corrette (1707–1795)
4e Symphonie des Noëls
Une jeune pucelle – Allegro – Chrétiens qui suivez l’église – Nous sommes en voie – Noël allemande – Noël americain – Nouveau Noël sur an ancient air de M. de Lulli

* * *

Traditional Carols

O herders verlaat uw bokjens en schapen (O shepherds, leave your goats and sheep)
(Dutch carol with music by Praetorius, arranged by Ton Koopman)

O Jesulein süß (O sweet little Jesu)
(German Chorale, arranged by Koopman and setting by J.S. Bach)

Il est né, le divin enfant (He is born, the divine child)
(French carol, arranged by Koopman)

Stille nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent night, holy night)
(Austrian carol, composed and arranged by Franz Gruber, 1818/1845)

Les anges dans nos campagnes (Angels we have heard on high)
(French carol, arranged by Koopman)

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Directed by Elisa Citterio

Violin Elisa CitterioGeneviève GilardeauChristopher VerretteJulia WedmanCristina Zacharias
Viola Brandon ChuiPatrick G. Jordan
Violoncello Keiran Campbell
Viola da gamba/Violoncello Felix Deak
Double Bass Pippa Macmillan
Recorder Alison Melville
Oboe/Oboe d'amore John AbbergerMaro Cera
Bassoon/Recorder Dominic Teresi
Harpsichord/Organ Christopher Bagan

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir
Directed by Ivars Taurins

Soprano Katy Clark, Roseline Lambert, Sinéad White, Agnes Zsigovics
Alto Simon Honeyman, Peter Mahon
Tenor Cory Knight, Kevin Myers
Bass Keith Lam, Graham Robinson

Thank You to our Generous Donors

Tafelmusik is deeply grateful to our generous donors who have continued to support us through this challenging time. Your support has inspired us to remain strong and to deliver joy to our community through our music, and will enable us to persevere until we can once again perform live for you, our cherished patrons. Thank you for believing in Tafelmusik and in the power and beauty of music.

If you would like to make a gift, please click here or contact us at donations@tafelmusik.org.

Canada Council for the Arts Ontario Arts Council Toronto Arts Council

Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann