MY DANCING DAY: Music for Christmas
Las Cantantes Women’s Choir of the University of New Mexico
Maxine Thévenot, director
Iain Quinn, organ
Michael Praetorious: Psallite
Jean Langlais: Ave Mundi Gloria
Frederick Frahm: St. Luke Service
Gabriel Fauré: Maria Mater gratiae
Bradley Ellingboe: Magnificat
Traditional: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
Traditional: Christmas Lullaby (arr. Malcolm Dalglish)
John Rutter: Dancing Day
Prelude (harp solo)
Angelus ad Virginem
A virgin most pure
Interlude (harp solo)
There is no rose
The Coventry Carol
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day
Traditional: A la Ru, a la Me (arr. Bradley Ellingboe)
Traditional: Apple Tree Wassail (arr. Stephen Hatfield)
Traditional: Silent Night (arr. John Rutter)
Martin & Blaine: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (arr. Bradley Ellingboe)
Review from the Santa Fe New Mexican:
This debut recording by Las Cantantes, the women’s choir of The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, is a little gem in many ways. First off, the group . . . sounds well schooled and well prepared, and the actual singing laid down during the May 2008 recording sessions is solid for an amateur/student ensemble. Second, the repertoire chosen by conductor Maxine Thévenot mixes familiar holiday fare, most of it in new arrangements, with pieces being recorded for the first time. Third, there are excellent supporting musicians—organist Iain quinn, harpist Lynn Gorman DeVelder, oboist Claudia Giese, and percussionist Jeff Cornelius . . . I listened to this on the car stereo, on the computer, and on the home system, and I enjoyed it each time.
Among the best moments are Albuquerque composer Frederick Frahm’s sensitive and piquant Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, ethereally sung by the group and deftly accompanied by Quinn; UNM professor Bradley Ellingboe’s Magnificat, also a compelling setting of the biblical text with the unusual yet very effective accompaniment of marimba and oboe; and John Rutter’s big-scaled Dancing Day, a selection of carols and interludes. In the many movements of this third piece, DeVelder sounds especially fine, and the women’s voices often blossom like Christmas roses. . .
As the cherry on the cupcake, the liner booklet offers full and accurate repertoire notes, comprehensive performer biographies, and original-language texts and English translations of the full program. I wish some of the big labels did as well as Raven does here.
Christmas joy radiates from Las Cantantes, the Women’s Choir of the University of New Mexico, directed by Maxine Thévenot, in beautiful traditional favorites, most in recent or new arrangements including three which are *recorded here for the first time. The choir is joined by organist Iain Quinn, harpist Lynn Gorman DeVelder, oboist Claudia Giese, and percussionist Jeff Cornelius.