This Endris Night is a feast for the ears. A cornucopia of time-burnished carols, motets, folk ballads, shape–note hymns, and chants, ranging from medieval to modern times. The Washington Master Choraleplumbed our personal favorites to present works by composers from both sides of the Atlantic, from Estonia (Arvo Pärt, “Bogoroditse Djevo”) to Minnesota (Stephen Paulus, “Three Nativity Carols”). The texts are no less diverse, ranging from the 16th century Piae Cantiones to the poetry of Christina Rossetti (“In the Bleak Mid-winter”) and e.e. cummings (“little tree”), and the spiritual writings of Mother Thekla, the longtime muse of the late Sir John Tavener (“Today the Virgin”). The Chorale’s dedication to new music is represented by renowned local composer Russell Nadel’s “Early Winter Tree,” which was commissioned by the Washington Master Chorale. An artful interweaving of harp and voice with a text by American lyric poet Sara Teasdale, the piece evokes both winter’s time of loss and the inevitability of spring’s rebirth. And no Chorale holiday recording would be complete without selections from Carols for Choirs the masterful compilation of songs edited by thelate Sir David Willcocks, arguably the most influential choirmaster of his generation.
This Endris Night is the perfect companion for long winter nights. And throughout your listening, you will be moved by the Washington Master Chorale’s highly nuanced artistry.