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Chorale grants three wishes

Published on December 5, 2017 1:41PM

The Central Coast Chorale will present the first of three Wishes & Candles holiday concerts this Friday, Dec. 8, at the Congregational Church of Lincoln City, featuring the 54-voice choir performing a selection of Christmas music.

The concert will be repeated on Thursday, Dec. 14, at the First Presbyterian Church of Newport and on Friday, Dec. 15, at the Yachats Commons. All three concerts begin at 7 pm and have a suggested donation of $10 for admission.

The chorale will perform two challenging movements from Francois Poulenc’s “Motets for the Christmas Season.” “Videntes stellam” tells of the approach of the Magi, starting quietly “as from afar” and growing in excitement as they approach the stable, while “Hodie Christus natus est” proclaims the joy of the day. Written in 1952, these pieces are traditional in theme but listeners will detect modern touches such as slightly dissonant chords and unexpected transitions.

The lineup also features the final movement of American composer Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata,” also written in the 1950s. The piece uses a technique of layering voices to build to a thrilling crescendo of joyful alleluias.

The choir will also sing “O Magnum Mysterium” by northwest composer Morten Lauridsen. Although this piece was written only 20 years ago, the beauty of the deceptively simple harmonies links it directly to the great classical choral traditions.

One of the most interesting pieces of the concert will be Norwegian composer Oja Gjiello’s resetting of Gustav Holst’s “In the Bleak Midwinter,” performed as a double choir. Gjiello uses pulsing rhythms to play up the irregular meter of Christina Rossetti’s original poem.

Women of Note, the women’s octet, will present a trio of pieces — “Star of Wonder,” a three-part a cappella piece written by Terre Roche of the folk trio the Roches; J. Edmund Hughes’ unique arrangement of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming;” and La Nana, a traditional Spanish lullaby, featuring guitar accompaniment by Derek Johnson.

For more information, go to centralcoastchorale.com or email admin@centralcoastchorale.com.

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