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Choirs at Christmas

Cappella Nova - Carols by Candlelight

St Petersburg Baroque Brass Quintet

Cappella Nova are Scotland's specialists in unaccompanied performance of medieval, renaissance and contemporary music.  In December 2004 they let their hair down for a series of musical feasts.

This annual festival event has a unique party atmosphere, and has become an unmissable fixture for many.  Conducted by Alan Tavener, Cappella Nova will perform a mix of festive music including:

Conductor of Cappella Nova; Photo: Cappella Nova
  • nostalgia and novelty
  • traditional favourites
  • carols for audience
  • close-harmony arrangements
  • Scottish carols
  • new repertoire specially written
  • Programme

    2004's Carols by Candlelight returned with a Russian theme.  Besides the time-honoured sequence of seasonal music full of magic, mystery and fun, the programme includes ancient chants from Russian monasteries.  This was harmonised by Russian composer, Rimsky-Korsakov and other composers.  Cappella Nova also performed new arrangements of favourite snippets of Tchaikovsky.

    A new commission by Peter McGarr called 'Always the Light' received it's world premiere at the Christmas concert.  The piece is a setting of a love poem for Christmas which uses gentle harmonies and melody.  It is based on traditional gaelic psalm-singing.

    Cappella Nova programme cover; Photo: Cappella Nova

    St Petersburg Baroque Brass Quintet

    Sharing the platform in Glasgow and Edinburgh were the superb virtuoso brass quintet, the St Petersburg Baroque Brass Quintet.  In Scone Palace the singers were joined by the exquisite tones of the concert harp and the clarsach, both played by Catriona MacKay.  With the Georgian Gothic architecture of the venue, it was a special and atmospheric concert.


    Performances took place:

    • Friday 17 December 2004 in the Barony Hall in Glasgow
    • Saturday 18 December 2004 in the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh
    • Sunday 19 December 2004 in the Long Gallery in Scone Palace


    'For a bit of festive good cheer it is hard to beat Cappella Nova's annual seasonal offering...this is an occasion that simply has lovely, relaxed, celebratory atmosphere'
    The Herald

    'Real candles...Hallelujah!'
    Michael Tumelty, The Herald

    Cappella Nova candelight procession; Photo: Cappella Nova

    'We left dreaming of a white Christmas', The Scotsman

    For more information on Cappella Nova, the concerts, ticket prices and box office details visit the Cappella Nova website.

    Related links
    * Cappella Nova
    * Catriona MacKay
    * Barony Hall
    * Queen's Hall
    * Scone Palace
    * Scottish Music Centre
    * Music features
    * Music features archive
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