A Christmas Messe: A Banquet of Seasonal English Music (2019)

Folger Consort performed "A Christmas Messe: A Banquet of Seasonal English Music from December 14th - December 23rd 2018 at Folger's Elizabethan Theater

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Folger celebrated the holidays with a repast of English music ranging from the earliest carols to arrangements of favorites like Greensleeves. Actor Rick Foucheux reads comical passages from the Folger’s 1619 manuscript A Christmas Messe—recounting a tussle between King Beef and King Brawn—offers lively accompaniment to a main course of beloved Yuletide music. A wonderful Christmas feast indeed! With strings, harp, organ, winds, and chamber choir.

Was in conjunction with the Folger exhibition Churchill’s Shakespeare, on display October 6 through January 6.

Music that appears on this program includes:

Anonymously composed carols and music from medieval and early modern England: Thys Yol; Angelus ad virginem/Gabriel fram hevene-king; Alleluia Nativitas; The boares head; There is no rose; Nowell sing we; Tappster, Dyrngker; Greensleeves; Long cold nights

Later English holiday favorites: While shepherds watched their flocks by night; Dives and Lazarus; Hark! The herald angels sing

Sub Arturo plebs/Fons citharizancium by John Aleyn (died 1373)

Green groweth the holly by King Henry VIII (1491-1547)

Ah, my dear son by Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521)

Music by William Byrd (1538-1623): O magnum mysterium; From Virgin's womb/Rejoice, rejoice; Laetentur coeli

Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), arranged by Christopher Kendall for period instruments


Folger Consort Artistic Directors

Robert Eisenstein: Viol

Christopher Kendall: Lute

Guest Artists

Rick Foucheux

Crossley Hawn, Soprano

P. Lucy McVeigh,Alto

Oliver Mercer, Tenor

Dan Meyers,Winds

William Sharp, Baritone