Event Archives

New York Polyphony
Sing Thee Nowell

Praised for “a rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts” by NPR, and for “beautifully blended voices of individual distinction” (The Independent), New York Polyphony has made a name for itself by exploring the similarities between ancient and modern music. Known for their “resplendent and elegant” recordings of renaissance masterpieces (San Francisco Chronicle), these four singers have also commissioned many new works from living composers. Twice nominated for a GRAMMY Award, New York Polyphony is one of the world’s most sought-after male vocal quartets.

At Duke Performances, the quartet offers Sing Thee Nowell, an evening of exquisite sacred Christmas music. Spanning nine centuries, New York Polyphony sings early polyphonic works by Pérotin and Byttering; lush new compositions inspired by ancient music from living composers Andrew Smith and Michael McGlynn; arrangements of Basque carols both rousing and tender by Alexander Craig and Sir David Willcocks; the haunting Huron Carol (1643), the first Christmas music written in North America; Thomas Tallis’s Audivi Vocem de Caelo; and folklorist John Jacob Niles’ poignant I Wonder As I Wander, based on an Appalachian song fragment collected in Murphy, North Carolina in 1933.

Andrew Smith: Veni Redemptor Gentium

Pérotin: Sederunt Principes

Pérotin/Worcester Fragments: Beata Viscera

Andrew Smith: Ave Maria/Noël nouvelet

Traditional Huron/Canadian, arr. Murray: Huron Carol

Traditional French, arr. Craig: Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella

Thomas Byttering: Nesciens Mater

Thomas Tallis: Audivi Vocem de Caelo

Michael McGlynn: O Pia Virgo Mater

Traditional English, arr. Andrew Smith: Nowell : Out of Your Sleep

Traditional Basque, arr. Alexander Craig: The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came

Traditional Basque, arr. Sir David Willcocks: Sing Lullaby

Traditional English, arr. Geoffrey Williams: Adam Lay YBounden

Traditional American, arr. Paul Manz: E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come

Traditional Appalachian/John Jacob Niles, arr. Geoffrey Williams: I Wonder As I Wander

Camille Saint-Saëns: Serenade d’hiver

Traditional, arr. Alexander Craig: The Darkest Midnight in December

  • $25
  • $10Duke Students
  • Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 8:00pm
Baldwin Auditorium