The central nucleus of this project with the choir Vocalia Taldea is formed by the suite A Ceremony of Carols by the British composer Benjamin Britten. A hymn to life and joy before the arrival of the Messiah, full of diverse rhythms, lively canons, simple melodies and a touch of nostalgia.
The nine parts of this piece draw landscapes in which the choir and harp transpose the choir and the harp go from the joy for the arrival of the new year to the cold and dark winter night, passing through the battle against Satan that supposes the birth of the child God. A solemn processional chant that opens and closes the work contributes to create a musical metaphor of the life cycle, the eternal return and the balance between death and life. Next, Vier Gesänge Op.17, an exquisite collection of four songs for women’s choir, harp and two horns by the German composer Johannes Brahms during his time as conductor of the Hamburg Women’s Choir, almost at the beginning of his compositional career. The four songs are an exceptional display of romantic and tormented love, always linked to fatal destiny, longing and death. Brahms sets to music texts of diverse origin that together create a deep and tragic universe of nostalgia. Finally, the work of the Basque composer Xabier Sarasola: Urtats Elur, a piece written expressly for this project. It’s a suite for female choir and harp that takes as inspiration the famous work of Britten played at the beginning. The composer visits from his personal vision the Christmas music and the traditions with which the Basque Country welcomes the New Year.