Eight members of The Huntsville Collegium Musicum presented an acapella concert at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church recently featuring a musical depiction of the Christmas story. Using music dating back to 1420, the program featured works by Cristobal Morales, Jean Mouton, Gustav Holst and Johann Walther as well as the words of American poet Joshua Smith from the eighteenth century.
Using ancient plainchant, motets and carols new and old, the “Puer Natus Est: Medieval and Renaissance Music for Advent and Christmas” rendition first announced the Birth of Christ, followed by a musical meditation on the Blessed Mother including the dramatic Ave Maria as a six-voice version.
Alternating between German and Latin the third section of the program focused on the Child in the manger, lullabies by His Mother and the songs of praise which emanated on that Holy Night.
Finally the Good Tidings part of the program, jubilant and contemplative, when sung by the eight members of the chorus swelled the rafters of the century old church until it seemed as though 100 voices were joined in lush, sustained harmonies.
The musicians, who presented two concerts earlier in the weekend, desire to share their talents with others, hoping that musical inspiration from the past reinvigorates the universal message of joy, peace and goodwill, as relevant centuries ago as it is this holiday season.