A Baroque Christmas

EMSI presents a varied Christmas programme featuring baroque music from Austria, France, Germany, Italy – and Canada! In addition to works by Biber, Campra, Telemann, and the featured work, the charming Cantata Pastorella by Benedikt Aufschnaiter (1665-1742), the concert includes the seventeenth-century “Huron Carol” sung in the original Huron/Wendat.

Jan van der Hooft  tenor
Paul Luchkow  baroque violin
Elyssa Lefurgy-Smith  baroque violin
Christina Mahler  baroque ‘cello
Michael Jarvis  harpsichord

In the spirit of the season, the Early Music Society of the Islands brings you this concert free of charge, to help liven up a physically distanced holiday season. Please do consider making a donation of the cost of a concert ticket, or any amount you feel appropriate, to help support our local artists, and to allow EMSI to bring more high quality early music performances directly to your home for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. The link below will take you to our Canada Helps page; please select the ‘Baroque Christmas’ fund to show your support for this concert.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!


Programme and translations


Laudate Dominum         André Campra [1660-1744]
Motet a voix seule et deux dessus de violons

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the L​ORD​.
Psalm 150

Sinfonia XII ​Per il Santissimo Natale, op. 1, no. 12         Giuseppe Valentini [1681-1753]
Largo – Andante e forte – Allegro – Largo – Presto

Mystery Sonata II in A major​: ​“The Visitation”         Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber [1644-1704]

Cantata Pastorella         Benedikt Aufschnaiter [1665-1742]

Come and see the Wisdom, now in Bethlehem.
How resplendent it is.
Bethlehem’s stable has become the Lord’s hall,
On which everything depends.
Come and behold in him a Lamb,
Who for our redemption, took on our sins,
Otherwise, through Adam’s fall,
We should forfeit our lives.
O little sheep, do not tarry,
Hurry without delay to the shepherd.
All of you, fall at his feet, beseech and pray,
That he may take you to his stable and let his mercy flow.

Mystery Sonata III in b minor​: ​“The Nativity”         Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

Cantata. ​Was gleicht dem Adel wahrer Christen, TWX 1:1511         Georg Philipp Telemann [1681-1767]
“Cantata for the First Sunday after Christmas”

Aria: What could equal the nobility of true Christians, since God has named them His children.
He who overthrows and builds thrones, is like a father watches over us; his Spirit testifies for our spirit.
Recit: Therefore God’s Son came to earth as a brother of Mankind, in our form, to adopt humanity into God’s
family. The poorest beggar, who can comfort himself in His majesty, is happier than one who has brought East and
West under one scepter; one who has subjected the North and South to paid tributes. And still, with everything
in addition to their abundance and stature, does not feel happy.What isn’t then happy? It gives us courage and joy to walk before God in prayer. Like a beloved child, their beloved father to ask and plead until He gives safe shelter? Since we will find help nowhere else, He places us in happiness. With such a father, who could face any loss!
And finally, follow Him to the treasures of eternity; For those who are God’s children, are also His heirs.
Are these not great gifts, which from our Father we’ve received? Ah, a Father he calls himself, but His love is
even more than a father’s.
Aria: Chatter with fervour, happy heirs! Show the Father a childlike heart!
With sweet and tender desire, raise up the exchange of your love completely and obediently heavenward.

The Huron Carol/Noël. “Une Jeune Pucelle”         Michel Richard Delalande [1657-1726]
17t​h​-century French Canadian (sung in French & Huron/Wendat)

Christians, take heart, Jesus the Savior is born!
Evil is destroyed forever.
When the beautiful but deceitful singing lures you,
Do not pay attention: Jesus is born!
Hear this news, which an angel brings!
Hear! Faithful souls, and open your hearts.
The Virgin in the stable wraps her arms around
The adorable Child God: Jesus is born.
Have courage, you who are humans. Jesus, He is born.
Behold, it has fled, the spirit who had us as prisoner.
Do not listen to it, as it corrupts the spirits of our minds.
Jesus, he is born.

Huron/Wendat by Jean de Brébeuf [1593-1649]
French trans. by Paul Picard, “Noëls anciens de la Nouvelle-France” (pub. Quebec 1907)