Northsong, the 35-member chamber choir based in Newport, will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Concert with performances on Friday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m., at the Barton United Church and at the United Church of Newport on Sunday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m.

Featured on the concerts will be Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” considered to be a masterpiece of choral literature. The multi-movement work was written in 1942, when Britten was crossing the Atlantic returning to England after three years in New York. “The piece is based on medieval text, and the music ranges from plainchant to rocking lullaby; the dramatic and fiery “This Little Babe” to lovely solos, full of imagery and color,” noted information provided by Northsong.

Also on the program is “Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest,” by Conrad Susa, which was conceived as a companion piece to the Britten “Ceremony of Carols.” The composer has adapted traditional Spanish carols into a suite of songs appropriate for “a piñata party for the new baby.”

Rounding out the concert will be “Marienlieder,” by Johannes Brahms, and a the traditional “Wassail Song.”

Admission to the concerts is by a suggested donation.


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