This is a wonderful Cantata for Soprano, Tenor and Baritone soloists with SATB Choir. There is a Piano reduction of the original Orchestral score. The heart of the text is comprised of poems by writers such as Milton, Hardy and George Herbert. Each of these poems reflect various Christmas experiences while reflecting upon the events of the nativity story, which is recounted as a narration by unison boys. This narration is drawn from the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Duration: 50 minutes.
If you are looking for a great piece to program instead of (or competing with) another tired old Messiah...program this. The score is expensive, but this is the full score (including solos) with piano reduction. There is a chorus only version that is much cheaper.
Hodie is a MUCH more valid telling of the Christmas Story than is Messiah. The music is more modern and more in touch with today's audience (it was written in the 1950's) but still has that Vaughan Williams "flow" and a big ending that will knock their socks off (yours too if you have s good chorus and orchestra).
This is not a chamber piece though. If all you ahve is 16 singers a harpsicord and a few strings, stick with Messiah.
But...for a large community choir it is perfect and for a large SYMPHONY choir it is sublime! (not in the Phila Orchestra's repertoire but I wish it was!)
I IS written for children's choir as well (always a draw) but a small group of women can be substituted.
Its a tad bit short for a full concert, but if you program it with Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols is becomes the perfect length.
So...if you are tired of a creaky tenor belting out another "Evry Valley" or a bored chorus slithering through another "His Yoke is Easy" PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE schedule this as something different. Schedule two nights though as you will get several returning guests! Anonymous