Past Seasons - More

Past Seasons - More

Over the past 25 years or so the Vivaldi Chamber Choir has mounted an annual season of three or four concerts featuring a broad range of soloists, many from within the choir, together with varied accompanying ensembles and instrumental musicians.

This is page 2 of these reports showing a selection of events from 2010 back to 2005. Many of these are linked to comments from audiences and performers, with pictures and in many cases, facsimiles of the "Programme" document from our archives.

2010 - 2011 SEASON

From Dickens' Time

Christmas songs selected to complement the writings of Charles Dickens

December 17, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.Trinity-St. Mark's, Vancouver

I am come to wish you a merry Christmas. A hundred years ago, Englishmen had almost forgotten about the Christmas spirit. They thought only of being respectable and making as much money as they possibly could; and the poor were oppressed and their old Christmas ways of beauty and goodwill were despised and forgotten. There arose a great man, Charles Dickens, who grew up in poverty and neglect, and who loved the good heart of the poor, and who made all men understand that to be jolly and generous is to be Christian. Then I came back to England again, and the carols came back with me: a few poor Waits had remembered them during the long years when the clever and fashionable and the powerful had forgotten.

Percy Dearmer - A Carol Play of 1926

The revival of old Christmas songs, in the form of the publications of Gilbert and Sandys, predate Dickens by over twenty years. While they record the apotheosis of the carol as folksong, their public reception prompted renewed interest in social singing and stimulated the creation of new Christmas songs to which the old term carol was newly applied. In the Church, they took the place of the metrical psalms and other hymns in the Christmas services. The old tradition of professional town musicians, or Waits, yielded to the less organized public carolling of impromptu groups who nevertheless styled themselves 'Waits', but who 'ma[d]e night hideous for three weeks before Christmas, with wretched performances of indifferent melodies' in the words of John Stainer.

The concert will include music of Dickens time, both popular and churchly (including some dance tunes named by Dickens) as well as music relevant to Dickens' 'social gospel' of Christmas. Added to this will be music drawn from other sources that either amplify Dickens' themes or reflect a Dickensian outlook on Christmas. The Vivaldi Chamber Choir, with guests Matthew Leighton, boy soprano, and instrumentalists (fiddle players and recorders) present a program of songs and readings inspired by Dickens' famous Christmas story.

Concert Programme

Mass & Magnificat

Antonio Vivaldi's Magnificat in G minor and Antonín Dvořák's Mass in D major

March 25, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. St. Philip's Anglican Church, Vancouver

The two principal works for this programme were altered by their composers for publication. Vivaldi wrote many of his works for the young women of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. These women, amateurs in the strict sense, were nonetheless intensively trained, and their technique and musical knowledge often exceeded that of professional musicians. Vivaldi, in preparing his works for general dissemination, often altered them to make them accessible to less specialized performers. Such is the case with the Magnificat in g minor. In the Ospedale version, the work is largely a connected series of solos. The names of the intended singers are even given in the score. Vivaldi later recast the work as a sequence of nine discrete movements, principally choral, interspersed with shorter, simpler arias.

Antonín Dvořák's Mass in D major underwent the reverse process. Having originally composed the work quite simply for choir with organ accompaniment, Dvořák was required by his publisher to provide a full orchestration. In its original form, the work is the epitome of a liturgical mass setting. Unlike in many major mass settings (such as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis) here the sections of the mass are not broken down into a series of choruses and arias, but are treated as organic wholes, with solos coming from within the choir. In our performance we shall be singing the later version of the Vivaldi and the earlier version of the Dvořák. We will also perform a Credo by Vivaldi and the Haydn "Missa Brevis Sancti Joannes de Deo"' sometimes known as 'Kleine Orgelmesse." This performance will use a "Gloria" elaborated by Franz Josef's brother, Michael Haydn.

Michael Murray, organ
Valerie Chan, violinHolland Ninow, violin
Calvin Yang, violaAaron Leung, cello

Tickets $20, Students & Seniors $15 at the door, or from any choir member. Doors open at 7:00.

St. Philip's Anglican Church is located at 3737 West 27th Ave., Vancouver, a block and a half west of Dunbar - for more information call 604-221-0665

Concert Report

Love & Roses

Brahms' "Liebeslieder" Waltzes and "Les Chansons des Roses" by Morten Lauridsen

May 28, 2011 at Trinity-St.Mark's, Vancouver

Shakespeare famously opined that the rose could shed its name but retain its identity. Gertrude Stein notoriously refuted him.

The rose, a perennial emblem of love and purity takes central place in Morten Lauridsen"s setting of five French poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, Les Chansons des Roses. Paired with these are Brahms' celebration of love in his Liebeslieder Walzer. Combining Daumer's 'volkisch' love poems with a series of dances for two pianists Brahms achieves a kind of 'urbane rusticity'. The programme is rounded out with some arrangements of Judeo-Spanish folk songs by the choir's director David Millard.

with pianists Leah Hokanson and Barry Yamanouchi

Concert Programme

2009 - 2010 SEASON

In Those Twelve Days

And in those twelve days, let us be glad, For God of his power hath all things made. - Traditional counting carol

In the annual spate of radio DJs offering up the current cost of sending all those leaping lords, milking maids, swimming swans and pear-treed partridges to one's true love, it is never asked 'which are the twelve days in question'. The twelve days of Christmas run from December 25 to January 5, inclusive. Ten of those twelve days have specific designations in the Roman Church calendar, from the Nativity through Saints Stephen, John, Thomas and Sylvester, as well the feasts of the Innocents, the Circumcision and the Holy Name.

In this concert we explore music assigned specifically to those holy days. Paired with the twelve sacred pieces we offer twelve secular carols, matched as well as possible to one of the feast days. Composers represented include Fauré, Parry, Zielenski, Hassler and Byrd

  • Friday December 11th at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, North Vancouver
  • Saturday, December 12th at Trinity-St. Marks Church 1805 Larch Street, Vancouver
    Tickets at the door $15/$12 seniors and students
    Both concerts start at 8 pm
    Refreshments will be served afterwards
Concert Report

Lux Æterna

Endless Light - Sacred Music of Howells, Stanford and Rutter.

In an all English programme, we offer anthems by Herbert Howells, two Canticles from Evensong by Stanford and Rutter's tranquil interpretation of the Requiem mass. While an element of sorrow is present in any Requiem, Rutter's careful selection of texts tends rather to address the comfort of the mourning and the hope of repose for the departed.

Friday, March 19 2010 at St. Philip's Anglican Church 3737 West 27th Ave. The concert will begin at 7:30

The Vivaldi Chamber Choir will be joined be joined by singers drawn from the BC Boys Choir and the Vancouver Bach Children's Chorus The accompaniment will be provided by Harp, Oboe, Cello and Organ. The organist will be Michael Murray and we welcome the return of Esther Cannon who played for us in the Requiem and Racine concert in the Spring of 2008

Concert Report

Lo Splendore d'Italia

The Splendour of Italy - Music of the Early Italian Baroque

In the early 17th century, Italy stood at the forefront of musical innovation which made it a must-see place for composers from all over Europe. Seeking to restore the ethos of classical Greece and Rome, composers devised new means of expression that defied tradition and touched directly upon the emotions of their listeners. The principal innovation, solo voice with basso continuo accompaniment led directly to the creation of opera and oratorio.

In our final concert of the season we offer up a taste of the 'Splendour of Italy' ranging from a literal musical banquet in the form of a cantata for a wedding feast through the veiled eroticism of the madrigal repertoire to the mature reflections of the masters Monteverdi and Carissimi in the service of the Church. Joining the choir is an ensemble of strings, bassoon and keyboards as we present Monteverdi's setting of Confitebor tibi and Carissimi's Historia di Jonas, a musical retelling of the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale.

The concert will be held at Trinity-St. Mark's on May 29th begining at 7:30pm.

Concert Programme


Swete was the Song

The Vivaldi Chamber Choir's annual excursion into the byways and garden paths of the Christmas repertoire. Some old favourites will make a reappearance after several years in the file drawer. Noëls Provençaux-carols from the Occitan region of France will be featured in this performance. In addition to singing, members of the choir will try their hand at accompanying these carols with traditional instruments: the recorder, the cornemuse, the psauterie, the tambourin à cordes and a variety of drums and percussion.

This concert will see the launch of the Vivaldi Chamber Choir's new CD Swete was the Song

  • Saturday November 29th - Christmas music at the Roundhouse Craft Fair
  • Friday December 5th - Christmas concert at Trinity St Mark's in Kits
  • Saturday December 6th - Christmas concert redux at Gloria Dei in North Vancouver

Concert Report

The British Orpheus and the Saxon Devil

2009 marks both the 250th anniversary of the death of Handel and the 350th anniversary of the birth of Purcell. This concert will celebrate English choral music from 1659 to 1759, focussing on the work of these two giants. The feature work of this programme will be the anthem Let God Arise, written by Handel during his service to the Duke of Chandos.

This concert will presented in collaboration with the "Company of Instruments Baroque Orchestra" with soloists Julie Duerichen, soprano and Isaiah Bell, tenor

  • Oh God, Thou Art My God....Purcell
  • I Was Glad....Purcell
  • Salvator Mundi....John Blow
  • An Evening Hymn....Purcell
  • Suite in G major (for strings)....Purcell
  • Pavane and Chaconne in G minor (for strings)....Purcell
  • O Sing Unto the Lord....Purcell


  • Concerto for Organ and Orchestra....Handel
  • Turn Thee Unto Me ... William Boyce
  • Chandos Anthem # 11, Let God Arise....Handel


  • Friday March 27th - St. Philip's, off Dunbar
  • Saturday, March 28th - Gloria Dei Lutheran, North Vancouver
  • Tuesday, March 31st - Redeemer Lutheran, on Laurier - Granville & W. 24th

All concerts start at 7:30

Concert Report

Musicks Empire

The choir will revisit its favourite works from the 19th and 20th centuries, featuring works by Bruckner, Stanford, Willan and Britten. A highlight of the programme will be Britten's A Hymn to Saint Cecilia, but look for folk song arrangements by Holst and Vaughan Williams and by the Armenian composer Komitas

Programme details

  • Stanford    Beati Quorum Via
  • Willan  Arise, My Love, My Fair One
  • Bruckner  Locus Iste
                  Ave Maria
  • Copland  Zion's Walls
  • Komitas   Aravod Lousaper
                 Ech Miadzin'n
  • Britten   A Hymn to St. Cecilia
  • Pfautsch   Musicks Empire
                  Consecrate the Place and Day
  • Pearsall   Lay a Garland
  • Millard   Fear No More the Heat of the Sun
  • Mendelssohn   Die Nachtigall
  • Millard   Lord Randall
              Yo m'enamori d'un Aire

Sunday, May 31st, 7:30 pm. - Season close at Trinity St. Mark's

Concert Report

THE 2007 - 2008 SEASON

Come Not Near Our Faerie Queen

Songs of Snakes, Dragons, and the Occasional Jabberwock

Just in time for Hallowe'en, the Vivaldi Chamber Choir presents a programme full of fairy mischief, a dragon or two, some spotted snakes, and a new twist on Lewis Carroll's dreaded Jabberwock. Compositions and arrangements by Earle Peach and David Millard take centre stage, but be prepared for plenty of old favourites and new delights.

Ye Spotted SnakesRichard Stevens
Song of AmerginEarle Peach
Lord RandalDavid Millard
She Moved Through the FairDavid Millard
Fear No More the Heat o' the SunDavid Millard
Contrappunto Bestiale alle MenteBanchieri
Shall We Go DownEarle Peach
The (English) DragonOliver Barton
The Green LadyMillard
Over Hill, Over DaleDavid Millard
The Gurt Black Dog of SomersetOliver Barton
From the AirEarle Peach
Yomervokhets (The Jabberwock)David Millard
From Peace and Social JoyAnon.

"Come Not Near Our Faerie Queen" will be at 8 pm. on Saturday, October 27th at Trinity-St. Marks, 1805 Larch Street, Vancouver. Tickets are $15.00 - students & seniors pay $12.00. Click on the poster to the right for a larger image.

Concert Report

Waits and Wassailers

Traditional Tunes for the Turn of the Year

Frozen feet and ague may have been the lot of the old-time travelling Yuletide musicians, but comfort and warmth awaited them in the halls where they were welcomed. The choir once again presents its eclectic mix of sacred and secular Christmas delights-taken from the sideboard rather than from the main table. Focussing on the rough and tumble of the folk carol tradition more than on the ethereal harmonies of the Church, this programme offers a trip down the byways of a holiday whose beloved tunes sometimes get over-played at the local mall. Not that you won't hear some familiar favourites-they'll just be dressed in the clothing of a bygone era whose traditions have all but been lost in the modern world. As an added bonus, when these waits perform, they provide the cider and goodies too.

"Waits and Wassailers" will be at 7:30 pm. on Sunday, December 16th

Concert Report

Requiem and Racine

Music of Fauré

Beginning in 1887 Fauré wrote his famous Requiem not for any specific purpose, but for the pleasure of it. By abandoning strict liturgical form, and setting only texts that appealed to him, Fauré unintentionally created a model that has been followed by many composers since. The Vivaldi Chamber Choir, with organist, Susan Ohanessian will perform this sublime work. As well, Esther Cannon (Harp), Catherine Laub (Soprano), and Joel Klein (Baritone) join the choir in what promises to be a memorable presentation.

The programme will also feature additional works by Gabriel Fauré, including his Cantique de Jean Racine. The proceedings will be rounded out with performances of motets by Saint-Saëns and Duruflé.

"Music of Fauré" will be on Saturday March 29th at 8:00 pm. at St. Philip's Anglican Church, 3737 West 27th Ave. Tickets are $18.00 - students & seniors pay $15.00. Click on the poster to the right for a larger image.

Concert Report

THE 2006 - 2007 SEASON

"Vivaldi Sings Vivaldi"

Gloria in D RV589, Antonio Vivaldi

The Vivaldi Chamber Choir presents Vivaldi's Gloria and other choral works.

Written between 1713 and 1717, Vivaldi's Gloria in D has become one of the most popular choral pieces of the Baroque era, and it certainly deserves its reputation. This extroverted work is scored for four-part choir and an instrumental ensemble comprising strings, oboe, and trumpet. With the Gloria the Vivaldi Chamber Choir will be presenting its namesake's less-known but equally delightful Credo in e minor.

Also featured on the program are two of Tchaikovsky's settings of the Cherubic Hymn and some shorter sacred works by the choir's conductor, David Millard. Join the Vivaldi Chamber Choir with an ensemble of guest instrumentalists for an evening of Baroque splendour

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 - 7:30 PM

At St. Mark's/Trinity

1805 Larch St. Vancouver

Doors open at 7:00 PM


$15/12 Seniors and Students

The full programme is as follows:

Tchaikovsky - Cherubic Hymn No. 1
Millard - Salvator Mundi
Millard - Kyrie Domenicale
Vivaldi - Credo
Millard - Salve Regina
Tchaikovsky - Cherubic Hymn No. 2
Vivaldi - Gloria

Concert Report

Nowell Sing We

Motets, Carols & Wassails for Christmas Throughout the Ages

This year’s Christmas Concert, Nowell Sing We will be performed in St. Mark’s Church in Kitsilano on Sunday, December 17th, and will feature musical delights by Morley, Byrd, Poulenc, Ireland, Howells, Parry and others. Doors are open at 7:00 pm for a 7:30 start.

The following pieces (in alphabetical order) are in preparation for this concert:

  • Adam Lay Ybounden   John Ireland  - 1879-1962
  • Alle Psalite cum Luya   from the Montpelier Codex
  • The Bird's Lullaby   Janis Kalnins  - 1950
  • Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life   David Millard  - 2006
  • Der Winter kalt   Johannes Eccard  - 1553-1611
  • Here is the Little Door   Herbert Howells  - 1892-1983
  • Lullay my Liking   Gustav Holst  - 1874-1934
  • Maria durch ein Dornwald ging   Heinrich Kaminsky  - 1886-1946
  • Now Let us Sing   Gustav Holst
  • Please to See the King   Traditional arr. David Millard
  • Puer Natus est Nobis   Introit for the 3rd Mass of Christmas Day (Ad Tertiam Missam)
  • Christmas Motets, Quem Vidistis Pastores Dicite and Videntes Stellam   Francis Poulenc  - 1899-1963
  • Serafin   Joan Cererols  - 1618-1680
  • Somerset Wassail   Traditional arr. David Millard
  • Swete was the Song the Virgin Soong   Adapted by Thomas Hammond  - d. 1662
  • Welcome, Yule   Sir Hubert Parry  - 1848-1918
  • We Happy Hirdes Men   from the Shanne MS (16th Century)
  • You that Wont to my Pipes Sound   Thomas Morley  - ca.1558-1603

Seasonally apposite readings will be interspersed.
Programme content may be changed or expanded on the day of the concert

Concert Report

THE 2005 - 2006 SEASON

The Vivaldi Chamber Choir will present four concerts between September 2005 and June 2006.

From the grandeur of 16th Century Spain to the picaresque irony of 20th century folksong realizations, the Vivaldi Chamber Choir is delighted to announce the four engaging programmes of its 2005/2006 Season:

Friday, October 28thSongs of Magic & Mystery
Saturday, December 17thCarols & Anthems of Georgian England
Saturday, April 8thMadrigals & Partsongs from 1550 to the present
Saturday, June 3rdMusic of Sixteenth Century Spain

Around the Charmèd Cauldron's Bubbling Wave

Songs of Magic & Mystery

Hags and Serpents abound in these seasonal offerings for the ensemble and selected soloists, with words by Wm. Shakespeare, Nahum Tate and Robert Graves set by Purcell, Linley, Hatton, Millard and Peach. "Anonymous" and his chum "Traditional" are in there too!

Join us for family fun and get yer Goblins well and truly Hobbed!

October 28th at Trinity-St. Marks

Concert Report

And Evermore be Merry

Carols & Anthems of Georgian England

A perennial favourite with Vivaldi audiences is our annual Yuletide concert. This year's offering will focus on the manner of keeping Christmas in the days of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, with just enough music of other lands to pique the interest and tempt the palate.

Join us afterwards for mulled cider and Christmas baking.

December 17th at Trinity-St. Marks

Concert Report

Sweet Love Doth Now Invite

Madrigals & Partsongs from 1550 to the present

Dowland, Weelkes, Wilbye, Stanford, Morley, Monteverdi and more celebrate life and love in song. From the raucous charivari of animals imitating human counter-point* to the serene call of a blue bird over a lake, the evening promises laughter and languor and the gamut of emotions in between.

  • Shall We Go Down - Earle Peach (1997)
  • Il Bianco e Dolce Signo - Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605)
  • Hark! Hark! The Lark - Benjamin Cook (1739-1793)
  • Content Désir - Claudin de Sermisy
  • Mori Quasi Il Mio Core - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
  • La Vaga e Bell' Aurora - Giovanni Croce (1557-1609)
  • Weep, Weep Mine Eyes - John Wilbye (1574-1638)
  • Par Fin Despit - Claudin de Sermisy (1490-1562)
  • Ecco Mormorar l'Onde - Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
  • From the Air - Earle Peach (1999)
  • Inchoo Pinkyolû Mûdar - arr. Komitas
  • Fear No More th Heat o' the Sun - David Millard (2000)

  • I Cannot Draw Near - Earle Peach (2001)
  • Lay a Garland - Robert Pearsall (1795-1856)
  • Flora Now Calleth - J.S. Smith (1750-1836)
  • Now is the Month of Maying - Thomas Morley (1557-1603)
  • The Song of Amergin - Earle Peach (1997)
  • The Blue Bird - Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
In addition an ensemble drawn from the choir will present music by Dowland and the fascinating *"Contrapunto Bestiale alla Mente" by Adriano Banchieri

April 8th at Trinity-St. Marks

Concert Report

El Siglo de Oro

Music of 16th Century Spain

Beginning with the reign of Fernando and Isabella, and with the colonization of the New World, Spain enjoyed a time of prosperity and political dominance known as the "Golden Age". Music of this Renaissance period is a study in contrasts. From the serene motets by Guerrero and Morales to the infectious rhythms of popular vallancicos and the lively Chacona of Arañès, the music brims with confidence and optimism.

Join us at Ryerson United Church for a musical tour of the Iberian Peninsula with voices, percussion, and guitar, together with some gems of Spanish organ music played on Ryerson's newly restored organ by choir director, David Millard. Passports not required!.

  • Francisco Guerrero   Canite Tuba
  • Francisco Guerrero   Dulcissima Maria
  • Cristobal Morales   Regina Caeli à 4
    • Organ piece
  • Anonymous   Gózate Virgen Sagrada - Sopranos & Altos
  • Francisco Guerrero   Gaude Barbara
    • Organ piece
  • Cristobal Morales   Regina Caeli Laetare à 6

*** Intermission ***

  • Anonymous   Dindirin, Dindirin
  • Anonymous   ¿Con Qué La Lavaré?
  • Juan del Encina   Todos Los Bienes Del Mundo
  • Anonymous   Pase el Agoa - Ensemble
    • Organ piece
  • Francisco Guerrero   En Tanto Que de Rosa y Açuçena - Ensemble
  • Juan del Encina   Triste España - Tenors & Basses
  • Joan Cererols   Serafin
    • Guitar pieces
  • Juan Aranes   Chacona

June 3rd at Ryerson United

Concert Report

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