Winter Words in Palo Alto

Join Avanti as they combine with Ragazzi Continuo, Ragazzi Boys Chorus’ alumni ensemble, for Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”

Ragazzi Continuo is excited to present “Winter Words,” their 2023 winter concert series. This concert explores the unique power that vocal music holds to tease out experiences and emotions through the interplay of music and text. The rarely performed Est, by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, marries dissonant and hauntingly beautiful harmonies with a tragic text to paint a picture of grief that will stay with the audience long after the final phrase. The humorous Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John, by Peter Schickele (also known as P.D.Q. Bach) demonstrates the importance of punctuation. Come also for a suite of holiday favorites, such as Deke Sharon’s jazzy and sentimental White Christmas, Stanley M. Hoffman’s rousing arrangement of Haneirot Halalu, as well as Ralph Vaughn Williams’ classic Christmas carols, to ring in the new year with tunes both familiar and unexpected.

Continuo’s concert title “Winter Words” is a reference to a Benjamin Britten’s song cycle of the same name. They are pleased to perform one of Britten’s most famous works in a collaboration with Ragazzi Boys Chorus. For the December 9th and 16th programs, Ragazzi Continuo will be joined by the Avanti ensemble of the Ragazzi Boys Chorus and harpist Dan Levitan to present “A Ceremony of Carols.” This well-loved set of carols for choir and harp blends playful and moving settings of various texts spanning from Latin chant to Middle English sacred poetry.