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.


  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.


  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.