Concert - Open stage space


Música para Navidad - Vocalia Taldea

A hymn to life, to dreams and hope for a future full of stimuli and emotions.

20 december 2022
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The central piece in Vocalia Taldea’s programme is A Ceremony of Carols by English composer Benjamin Britten. The suite is a hymn to life and joy at the birth of the Messiah, full of varied rhythms, lively canons, simple melodies and a touch of nostalgia. Divided into nine parts, the piece conjures up a series of landscapes, with the choir and harp gradually forging a path from joy at the coming of the new year to the cold, dark winter night, encompassing along the way the victory over Satan represented by the birth of the Baby Jesus. The solemn processional chant with which the work begins and ends helps to create a musical metaphor for the cycle of life, the eternal return and the balance between death and life.

Vocalia Taldea wanted to complement this iconic suite with something new and unique and commissioned Basque composer Xabier Sarasola to write a piece specifically for the project. Sarasola was asked to create a new suite for women’s choir and harp based on Britten’s famous work, just as John Rutter did with Dancing Day, thirty years after Britten composed his Ceremony of Carols.

The vocal ensemble is proud and excited to present the new work, entitled Urtats elur. Xabier Sarasola’s piece explores the Christmas music of the Basque Country and the traditional ways in which the New Year is welcomed in. And it does so from Sarasola’s own personal perspective, making this musical adventure all the more special. The programme ends with Vier Gesänge Op.17, an exquisite collection of four songs for women’s choir, harp and two horns by German composer Johannes Brahms. Written near the start of Brahm’s composing career, when he was the conductor of a women’s choir in Hamburg, the four songs are an exceptional example of tormented romantic love, inevitably linked to the ultimate fate of longing and death. Brahms set texts from a range of sources to music, to create a deep, tragic universe of nostalgia.

The team

Women's choir: Vocalia Taldea
Conductor: Basilio Astúlez
Harp: Francesca di Nicola
Horn: Oliver de Castro
Horn: Elena Angulo
Soprano: Jaurne Gaminde
Soprano: Idoia Aguirre
Alto: Saioa Goñi


Day 20 - 19:30h.


18€ /with discounts

Friends of Arriaga:

Groups, young people, over-65s, unemployed, large families and people with 33%+ disability:

Last minute discount (for above-mentioned groups, except Friends of Arriaga):

Last minute discount for Young Friends of Arriaga:

People with disabilities who use wheelchairs:
50% DISCOUNT (in proscenium balcony and one accompanying person)