The Song Company’s program Hark!is a selection of 18 carols in traditional and (mostly) novel arrangements, many of them from the Naxos and Patmos books of carols which contain arrangements by the ensemble’s Artistic Director Antony Pitts. As well, Hark!is the debut of what is intended to be The Song Company’s annual celebration of festive choral music.

Song Company Hark

For this inaugural presentation, the carols are gathered under four themes which follow the narrative of the birth of Christ – Proclamation, Anticipation, Generation and Celebration. The ensemble, conducted by Associate Artistic Director Francis Greep comprises just eight voices (two to a part) and includes Kurt Ison at the organ.

There are some time-honoured European gems like the c.13th century carol O come, o come, Emmanueland Praetorius’ incomparable Lo, there a Rose is blooming, along with congregational favourites, like Hark! the herald angels sing(Mendelssohn) in which the attendees are invited to participate. Each congregational carol with its comfortingly familiar unaccompanied verses, final verse harmonies and indispensable descants in the English choral tradition, closes off one of the four segments of the program. Broadening the compilation are carols by contemporary...