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Chester County Press

Brandywine Singers slate holiday concert

12/15/2015 09:55AM ● By J. Chambless
The Brandywine Singers’ 2015 holiday program, "Magnificat," is designed to tell the Christmas story from Mary’s point of view.
The concert opens with a Renaissance motet by Tomas Luis de Victoria, "O Mangum Mysterium," in which Victoria strikes a balance between the sense of mystery and joy surrounding the expectant mother. The concert then moves to the triumphant announcement of the birth, and the audience is invited to join us in singing "O Come All ye Faithful." 
"Hodie Christus natus est" and "In Dulci Jubilo" are also from the renaissance period. "Hodie," by Gabrieli, proclaims the birth, while Praetorius’ "In Dulci Jubilo" exclaims, “the baby shines like the sun lying in his mother’s lap.”
Jonathan Wilcocks’ "Magnificat" is a setting in five contrasting movements of the Latin "Magnificat," with two additional 15th-century English texts in praise of Mary. "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime" is the earliest known Canadian Christmas carol, likely written around 1642 by Jean de Brebeuf.  
Although the group will perform Rachmaninoff’s "Bogoroditse Devo" in the original Russian, the text is the traditional Hail Mary praising the virgin mother. The concert ends with "Silent Night."
Performances will take place Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. at Christ Church (20 N American St., Philadelphia); and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Trinity (212 S High St., West Chester).  
The Brandywine Singers is a non-profit choral ensemble based in West Chester, under the direction of Jonathan Kreamer. For more information, visit www.thebrandywinesingers.org.

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