Monday, 17 December 2012

Today I went to the Notre-Dame Cathedral on Sussex Drive in Ottawa to the Advent-Christmas Carol Service in the presence of the Archbishop. The weather was especially bad today making the short drive treacherous. There were quite a few Lutheran and otherwise Protestant music pieces in what was suppose to be a Roman Catholic Service. We had 3 choirs, two in front of the High Altar and one in the balcony above the main entrance where the Casavant organ is located. The music was accompanied by the organ, a piano and a brass ensemble. It was a very nice concert-service, unfortunately because of the bad weather is was not so well attended. The Cathedral dates from 1841 and is a magnificent building in high Gothic Canadian style which is somewhat like Austrian Rococo, overly busy.



While listening to Radio Swiss Classic I heard this piece sung by Placido Domingo. It is a Christmas Motet by Austrian composer Johann Ritter Von Herbeck, (1831-1877), Pueri Concinite. The first composition though was by Jacob Handl (1550-1591) Herbeck will rework the music and give it a different tonality.

You Tube has several versions and not of equal value or quality. However this one by the Vienna Boys Choir, is somewhat good. I would have preferred the Domingo rendition but it seems that a Boys Choir is the favoured way of presenting this piece. The other singer who recorded this in concert is Jean-Baptiste Maunier of Les Choristes, the problem I find is his strong French accent which colours the Latin pronunciation, though is voice is beautiful and especially so if he sings a French song.

3 comments:

  1. There actually were between 200-300 people at the concert. So it wasn't that small an audience. But you're right that the weather was dreadful.

    CP

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  2. Beautiful music. Thanks so much for including the link for youtube. The choir is lovely, and I'm now poking around for the other versions.

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