Capital City Minstrels usher in Ye Olde Christmas

Updated: Dec 08, 2012, 16:36 PM IST

Akrita Reyar

Capital New Delhi cannot imagine a Christmas without the city’s eponymous Choir enlivening the season with traditional melodies and carols.

This year too, we were delighted to a musical treat by this mishmash of singers representing a multitude of nationalities.

Performing at their second home, the Hungarian Centre – where the group has been practicing for 18 years – and the India Habitat Centre, the year’s platter included mainly soft and mellifluous numbers, a clear departure from last year when jazz and modern rhythms had been incorporated.

The tone of the concert was set off by ‘Deck the Hall’, a traditional Welsh Christmas song, which was followed by the English ‘God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen’.

There was a medley of European numbers as well, like the Hungarian ‘A szepSzuzmaria’, French ‘llest ne, le divin enfant’, and Swedish ‘Nar juldagsmorgon glimmer’ and ‘Nu tandas tusen juleljus’.

The choir sung three German carols – ‘Das ist die stillste Zeit im Jahr’, Maria durch ein Dornwald ging’ and the very popular ‘Silent Night’, for which the audience was also invited to join.

A very classical touch was lent by the inclusion of maestro composer Felix Medelssohn-Bartholody’s ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’.

Like last year, ‘We Three Kings’ was a hit with the audience and called for a hearty encore.

The singers were accompanied by Aching Shaiza on the piano, Verena on the violin and Kirsten Hernig-Godde and Martina Ketterl on the recorder.

The 2012 Christmas concert was performed under the baton Carolin Remy who has been associated with the choir for the past several years. Carolin, who is a German, was born into a musical family and learnt to sing and play the piano at a very young age. She has been living in Delhi for the last eight years and has been teaching at the German school in Delhi.

The Capital City Minstrels explained that carols originated in Europe much before Christ and Christmas. The word ‘Carol’ had actually meant a dance or song of praise and joy! And while these were sung in all the four seasons, only the tradition of singing them during winter to infuse yuletide spirit has endured.

Also, historically carols were mostly written in Latin which was not widely understood by the masses and thus not very popular. It was Francis of Assisi who started local language carol singing during Xmas in 1200s.

Soon the concept spread far and wide and sure enough people in France, Spain, Germany and other European countries joined the merriment.

Meanwhile CCM, which normally gives performances during Summer, Winter and Autumn, will be flying to Goa on February 02, 2013 and singing at the Capela da Nossa Senhora do Monte (Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount) located near the Old Goa church complex for the Monte Music Festival.

You can catch them there.

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