Cantus Live at Westminster Presbyterian Church

by Brian Newhouse, Minnesota Public Radio
December 13, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The concert is a sellout every holiday season, and this year's no exception. Surrounded by the warm woodgrain walls of the Great Hall at Westminster decked in pine boughs, several hundred choral fans cozy up to their neighbors to enjoy the music of Cantus. Tune in at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 to hear this incredible live performance.

The nine-voice male vocal ensemble has put together something slightly different this year: there are carols new and old, as usual, but they're interspersing the music with brief, evocative readings that reflect a wide view of the season.

In collaboration with Minnesota Center for Book Arts and author Patricia Kirkpatrick, Cantus presents a modern take on the century-old British tradition of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.


Carol: Jerry Ulrich, Arr. William Skoog: Heleluyan
Carol: Jean Sibelius: Julvisa

Lesson #1 - The Calling and the Will to Change

Reading - Walt Whitman: This is what you shall

Reading - Robert Frost: The Pasture

Carol: Randall Thompason: The Pasture

Lesson #2 - Sacrifice

Reading - Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay: When Everything was Everything

Carol: Basque Carol, Arr. John Rutter: Gabriel's Message

Lesson #3 - Hope and Gifts

Reading - Tomas Transtromer: Allegro

Carol: Abbie Betinis: Lumen

Reading - Linda Gregg; The Light Continues

Lesson #4 - Seeing the Divine in All Creatures

Carol: Traditional French Carol, Arr. David Walton: The Friendly Beasts

Reading - Thomas Hardy: The Oxen

Reading - Robert Bly: Looking at the Stars

Lesson #5 - From Where We Came: Honoring the Mother

Reading - Connie Wanek: Long Nights

Carol: Welsh Lullaby, Arr. Lawrence Wilford: Suo Gan

Reading - Sarah MacLachlan: from Sarah, Plain and Tall

Carol: Franz Biebl: Ave Maria

Carol: Malcolm Dalglish: Water Under Ice

Lesson #6 - The Return

Reading - Louis Jenkins: Belief

Carol: Kim Gannon/walter Kent/buck Ram: I'll Be Home For Christmas

Lesson #7 - A Message for All to Hear

Reading - Mary Oliver: Wild Geese

Carol: Ysaye M. Barnwell: Would You Harbor Me?

Reading - Louise Erdrich: A Painted Drum

Lesson #8 - The World Beyond

Carol: Nick Drake, Arr. Paul J. Rudoi: Road

Reading - Alberto Rios: Border Lines

Lesson #9 - Bearing Witness and Celebration

Reading: Marina Tsvetaeva: I Bless the Daily Labor

Carol: Alexander Sheremetev: Nïñe Silï Ñeᵬesnïya
Carol: Traditional Georgian : *Alilo (Rachuli Alilo)

Reading - Paul Gruchow: Prairie Year

Carol: Burgundian Air/katherine K. Davis,arr. Chris Foss & Gary Ruschman: Pat-a-Drummer

Reading - Michael Dennis Browne: For Caitlin Lally

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