Schola Christmas 2022 Concert Repertoire

The First Noël
th century French carol

The Wexford Carol
th century Irish Carol
Arr. Michael McGlynn (Ireland, b.1964) 

This wonderful carol from County Wexford, Ireland, is sung in Ireland's sean-nós (in the old way) style of singing - free flowing and unaccompanied by instruments. Michael McGlynn's 1997 arrangement adds an almost imperceptible vocal accompaniment to the last two verses of this ancient carol.

Silent Night
Franz Gruber (Austria, 1787-1863)
Arr. Michael McGlynn (Ireland, b.1964)

The text of this famous Carol was written by Fr. Joseph Mohr and put to music by Franz Xaver Gruber, with its’ first performance on Christmas Eve 1818 in the Saint Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.

Away in a Manger
Trad. English Carol
Arr. Michael McGlynn (Ireland, b.1964)

A 1996 Gallup poll put Away in a Manger in second place (behind Silent Night) as one of the most popular Christmas carols! This carol is traced to 19
th century England.

O Holy Night
Adolphe Adam (France, 1803-1856)
Arr. Michael McGlynn (Ireland, b.1964)

This French carol was set by France’s Adolphe Adam in 1847 to "Minuit, chrétiens," a poem by Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). This poem, and now carol, reflects both on the birth of Jesus and on humanity's redemption.

th century Bohemian carol
Arr. Michael McGlynn (Ireland, b.1964)

Gaudete (Rejoice!) was first published in Finland in 1582 in Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (Devout ecclesiastical and school songs of the old bishops).

This lively Bohemian carol evokes the ancient recognition of Christmastide. Even the prophet Ezekiel (6
th century B.C.) is part of this Christmas story!
(The historical lands of Bohemia approximate the west half of today's Czech Republic.)

Gaudete! Gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria virgine. Gaudete!

Tempus adest gratiae, hoc quod optabamus;
carmina laetitiae devote reddamus.

Deus homo factus est, natura mirante;
mundus renovatus est a Christo regnante.

Ezechiellis porta clausa pertransitur;
unde lux est orta, salus invenitur.

Ergo nostra contio psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino; salus regi nostro.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ was born of the virgin Mary. Rejoice!

The season of grace is at hand, this is what we were hoping for;
let us sing songs of joy devoutly.

God became man, by a surprising nature;
the world was renewed by the reigning Christ.

Ezekiel passes through the closed gate;
whence light arose, salvation is found.

Therefore, our congregation sings now in the twilight;
Bless the Lord; Salvation to our king.

Bogoróditse Devo
Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russa, 1873 – 1943)

This Russian version of the Ave Maria was included in Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil that was published just prior to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. That Revolution outlawed religion in Russia and curtailed its' performance in Rachmaninoff's homeland. This setting is so heavily influenced by the original religious chant that Rachmaninoff called it a "conscious counterfeit."

Богородице Дево, радуйся,
благодатная Марие, Господь с тобою.
Благословена ты в женах,
и благословен плод чрева твоего,
яко Спаса родила еси душ наших.

Mother of God, rejoice
Gracious Mary, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you in women
and bless the fruit of your womb
As a Savior, you gave birth to our souls.

Dixit Maria
Hans Leo Hassler (Germany, 1564 – 1612)

The text of this piece is taken from the Christmas story – the Angel Gabriel visits Mary and apprisers her she will be the mother of the Christ child. In Dixit Maria, Mary acknowledges and accepts her role in the birth of Christ.

Dixit Maria ad angelum:
Ecce ancilla Domini,
fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Mary said to the angel:
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord,
let it be done unto me according to your word.

Text Luke 1:38

Ave Maria
th Century Gregorian chant, and
+ Tomás Luis de Victoria (Spain, 1548 – 1611)

The “Ave Maria” first existed as a Gregorian chant, or plain chant, derived from the French plein chant, meaning “full singing.” This plein chant prayer is full of the sounds of medieval Europe, praying their intercession to Mary.
The polyphonic setting following the ancient Gregorian chant is attributed to Spain’s 16
th century Tomás Luis de Victoria.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum;
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus [Christus].
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus [Christ].
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
And so it shall be.

Alma Redemptoris Mater
th century Gregorian chant
+ Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (Italy, 1525 – 1594)

Herman Contractus (1013 – 1054), a Benedictine monk on the monastic island of Reichenau Island in the Rhein River (on boundary of Germany and Switzerland) composed this prayer in the 11
th century.

Since then Alma redemptoris mater has been the last Gregorian chant sung at the close of the day in monasteries during Christmastide.

Schola also sings a polyphonic setting of this chant by Italy's Palestrina. Palestrina is considered the créme de la créme of Renaissance polyphonic sacred musicians. Palestrina composed this polyphonic setting of Alma Redemptoris Mater in 1584 while at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This composition would have been the last sounds the Pope heard at the end of in the day in the Sistine Chapel during Christmastide.

Alma Redemptoris Mater,
quae pervia caeli porta manes, et stella maris,
succurre cadenti surgere qui curat populo:
Tu quae genuisti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem:
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud Ave,
peccatorum miserere.

Loving mother of the redeemer –
you are an open gate to heaven and Star of the Sea:
help a fallen people who want to rise again.
You, who gave birth to your holy creator, with nature in awe,
a virgin before and after hearing that “Ave” from the mouth of Gabriel,
have mercy on us sinners.
(translation Fr. Joe Vanderholt, S.J.)

Mariam Matrem
Anonymous from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (Catalonia “Red Book,” c. 1370)

Mariam Matrem Virginem attolite,
Jesum Christum extolite Concorditer.

Maria, saeculi asilum, defendenos.
Jesu, tutum refugium, exaudi nos.
Jam estis vos totaliter diffugium,
totum mundi confugium realiter.

Jesu, suprema bonitas verissima.
Maria, dulcis pietas gratissima.
Amplissima conformiter sit caritas ad nos quos pellit vanitas enormiter.

Maria, facta saeculis salvatio.
Jesu, damnati hominis redemptio.
Pugnare quem viriliter per famulis percussis duris iaculis atrociter.

Lift up (your voices to) Mary the Virgin Mother,
Exalt Jesus Christ in unison.

Mary, refuge of the world, protect us.
Jesus, safe refuge, hear us.
You are already completely homeless
the whole world's shelter in reality.

Jesus, supreme and truest goodness.
Mary, sweet piety dearest.
Let charity be of the greatest conformity to us,
who are excessively driven by vanity.

Mary, the salvation of the ages.
Jesus, the redemption of the damned man.
He was atrociously attacked by fellow men.

Psalm 85, Lord Show Us Your Mercy and Love
Music – Janèt Sullivan Whitaker (USA, b.1958)
Text - 4
th century B.C.

Northern Lights (Pulchra Es)
Ola Gjeilo (Norway, b.1978)

Inspired by the sight of the aurora borealis in the northern sky of his homeland along with an ancient 6
th century B.C. text from the Song of Songs, Gjeilo composed this stunning piece where words and sounds describe the transcendence of the northern lights.

Pulchra es, amica mea,
Suavis et decora filia Jerusalem,
Et decora filia Jerusalem,
Terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata.
Averte oculos tuos a me,
Quia ipsi me avolare fecerunt, amica mea.

You are beautiful, my love,
fair as Jerusalem,
fair as Jerusalem’s daughter,
fearsome as celestial visions!
Turn your eyes away from me,
for they stir me up.

El Noi de la Mare
Traditional Catalan carol
Arr. Ernest Cervera (Catalan/Spain, 1891–1972)

This tuneful lullaby from Catalan has unknown origins. Catalan's Ernest Cervera composed this tender setting.

Qué li darem a n'el Noi de la Mare?
Qué li darem que li sápiga bo?
Li darem panses amb unes balances,
li darem figues amb un paneró.

Qué li darem al fillet de Maria?
Qué li darem al formós Infantó?
Panses i figues i nous i olives,
panses i figues i mel i mató.

Tam, patamtam, que les figues són verdes,
tam, patamtam, que ja maduraran.
Si no maduren el dia de Pasqua
maduraran en el dia del Ram.

What will we give to the Mother's Boy?
What will we give him that will make him feel good?
We will give him raisins with scales,
we will give him figs with a bun.

What will we give to Mary's child?
What will we give the handsome infant?
Raisins and figs and walnuts and olives,
raisins and figs and honey and curd.

Tam, patamtam, that the figs are green,
tam, patamtam, they will ripen.
If they do not ripen on Easter day (day of Jesus' resurrection)
they will ripen on Palm Sunday (day of Jesus entry into Jerusalem).

Ríu, ríu chíu
Traditional 15
th century Spanish villancico

Ríu, ríu, chíu is the sound the shepherds made to call in their flock in this anonymous 15
th century Spanish villancico (carol).

Ríu, ríu, chiu, la guarda ribera,
Dios guardó del lobo a nuestra cordera.

Muchas profecías lo har profetizado,
Y aún en nuestros días, lo hemos alcançado,
A Dios humanado vemos en el suelo,
Y al hombre en el cielo porque'l lo quisiera.

Mira bien que os cuadre que ansina lo oyera,
Que Dios no pudiera hazerla más madre;
El qu'era su Padre, oy d'ella nasçió,
Y el que la crió, su Hijo se dixera.

Este qu'es nasçido es el gran monarcha,
Christo patriarcha de carne vestido.
Ha nos redimido con se hazer chiquito,
Aunque era infinito, finito se hiziera.

Ríu, ríu, chíu, the riverside guard,
God saved our lamb from the wolf.

Many prophecies have prophesied it,
And even in our days, we have reached it,
We see God incarnate on the ground,
And to the man in heaven because he wanted it.

Take a good look to make sure that he has heard it,
That God could not make her more of a mother;
He who was her father, he was born from her,
And the one who raised her, her Son was said.

This is the birth of the great monarch,
Christo father of flesh dressed.
He has redeemed us by becoming small,
Although he was infinite, he became finite.

Auld Lang Syne
Robert Burns (Scotland, 1759-1896)

Scotland’s Robert Burns set his poem Auld Lang Syne to a traditional Scottish folk song in 1788. Schola bids farewell to the old year as we look forward to the New Year.

Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe
Trad. of the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Las Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe is the traditional song of the ‘Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe.’ Las Mañanitas is our song of greeting to 'her,' where we celebrate Juan Diego’s encounter with the Virgin Mary in 1531, greeting her as 'Guadalupana'. The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is on December 12.

Oh Virgen, la más Hermosa del Valle del Anáhuac,
tus hijos muy de mañana te vienen a saludar.

Despierta, Madre, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
mira este ramo de flores que para ti traigo yo.

Recibe, Madre querida, nuestra felicitación,
hoy por ser el día tan grande de tu tierna aparición.

Recibe, Madre querida, nuestra felicitación;
míranos aquí postrados y danos tu bendición.

Tú brillaste, Virgen Santa, como estrella matinal,
anunciando la alborada que iba pronto a comenzar.

Ya viene alborando el día, qué linda está la mañana,
saludemos a María: buenos días, Guadalupana.

El cerro del Tepeyac escogiste por morada,
por eso te saludamos, buenos días, Guadalupana.

Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
levántate, Virgencita, mira que ya amaneció.

O Virgin, the most beautiful of the Valley of Anahuac,
your children come to greet you very early in the morning.

Wake up, Mother, wake up, look at the dawn,
look at this bouquet that I bring to you.

Receive, dear Mother, our congratulations,
For today being the great day of your tender appearance.

Receive, dear Mother, our congratulations;
see at us here prostrate and give us your blessing.

You shone, Holy Virgin, as the morning star,
announcing the dawn that was soon to begin.

The day is already dawning, how beautiful the morning is,
Let’s say hello to Mary. ‘God morning Guadalupana!’

You chose the Tepeyac hill as your home,
so we greet you; Good morning, Guadalupana!

Dawn is coming, and the light of day is upon us.
Get up, little Virgin, look and see that it is already dawn!