Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols in the Style of Salisbury Cathedral

Bruce J. Barber II, Director
Richard Barrick Hoskins, Organist

St. James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago


"The choir of the Episcopal cathedral of Chicago takes a slightly different approach to recorded Advent programs, choosing to bypass the perhaps now-over-familiar Cambridge arrangement in favor of a setting that is less flashy and certainly less-hyped than that from King’s College, but the dignity of the anticipation is clear... One of the attractive aspects of this recording is that it uses recent choral music by American composers. All of this is conservative but not less well conceived for that... Charles Wood’s 'O Thou, the Central Orb' the choir a big, juicy, Victorian moment to enjoy... [the choir is] well balanced, articulates its words with commendable clarity, and is a pleasure to listen to."
Alan Swanson, Fanfare - July/August 2011
"Bruce J. Barber II directs...a solemnly beautiful account of the Festival of Lessons and Carols in the style of Salisbury Cathedral."
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta - December 2010
Arise, shine! For your light has come.
This Advent festival is taken from the liturgy used at the great English Cathedral at Salisbury in England. The service conveys a central theological and moral idea about Advent—the recognition that our beautiful world is marred by human willfulness, greed and violence. The record of Scripture insists that we need look no further to see the darkness of the world than our own selves. None of us is free from the shadows of sin. The light that shines first in the darkness is the Christ light. It is a sign of the light of Jesus Christ eternally shining in our dark world—a light that dispels darkness, and yet a light that shows up the shadows of our world and of our lives. The light of Christ is all-revealing and judges us all. It is also illumination and warmth, the guiding beacon which leads us from darkness into light. The light breaks the darkness as sign of both judgment and hope. The scripture readings come in pairs. An Old Testament reading speaks of God’s promise; a New Testament reading proclaims how the promise is being fulfilled in Christ. And each pair is accented by a musical response that heightens our expectation and invites our trust in the coming of Christ as Judge and Redeemer.
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The Cathedral Choir is a mixed voice, semi-professional choir numbering 32 musicians, which leads the worship of the St. James Cathedral congregation. The Choir has a distinguished history of service to the Cathedral, the Diocese and the community at large. Drawing from a wealth of sacred music ranging from the pure, polyphonic music of the 16th century through the most daring of sonic tapestries by modern-day composers, the Cathedral Choir offers musical presentations which are characterized by a well-shaped and beautiful tone, rhythmic precision and thoughtful interpretation. The Cathedral Choir has been under the leadership of many of this country’s foremost church musicians, including Dr. Peter C. Lutkin, Dudley Buck, Dr. Clarence Dickinson and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dr. Leo Sowerby. The Choir leads the 11:00am Sunday Cathedral Eucharist year-round and sings Choral Evensong the first Sunday of the month, October through June. The ensemble also sings for ordination and confirmation services held at the Cathedral, for Holy Days observed by the Cathedral and Diocese, and on the Cathedral Concert Series. Committed to the ministry of St. James Cathedral, the Choir welcomes all who are interested in participation, regardless of religious affiliation or faith practice.
BRUCE J. BARBER II Director of Cathedral Music
Bruce J. Barber II was appointed Director of Cathedral Music in January 2004. He is the Cathedral’s principal organist, conductor of the Cathedral Choir and Artistic Director for the Cathedral Concert Series. Prior to joining the staff of St. James, Mr. Barber served as Canon Precentor and Director of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral Church of St. John, the Diocese of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 10 years. At St. John Cathedral he developed a highly respected and internationally known music program consisting of a large choral program for children and adults, various multi-faceted concert series and an organ recital series. He has performed with the New Haven Symphony, Florida Symphony and New Mexico Symphony and has conducted a wide range of sacred music for choir and orchestra, ranging from Bach to Beethoven, Brahms to Duruflé, Bernstein and Stravinsky. He has recorded two CDs with the Musicians of St. John’s Cathedral: To the Creator of Light: Choral Music from the Cathedral Church of St. John and All This Time: Music for Advent and Christmas, both of which have been critically acclaimed. Since moving to the Chicago area, Mr. Barber has performed regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at both Symphony Center and Ravinia Park, under such notable conductors as Riccardo Muti, Symon Bychkov, James Conlon, Helmuth Rilling, David Zinman and Michael Tilson Thomas. At St. James Cathedral, he has led the Chamber Orchestra of St. James and the Cathedral Choir in performances of works by Mozart, Haydn, Pinkham, Rutter and Handel, among others. Trained as a choral and orchestral conductor, organist and cellist, Mr. Barber holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rollins College in Florida, and a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His organ mentor at Yale was the late Dr. Robert S. Baker, who was a student of Dr. Clarence Dickinson, organist at St. James in the 1880s and again from 1903 to 1909. Mr. Barber is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians and a member and Past Dean of the American Guild of Organists.
Invocation and Matin Responsory (Lehman)
Come, thou Redeemer of the earth (Praetorius)
Bidding Prayer
Great “O” Antiphon: O Sapientia
Lesson: Genesis 1:1-5
Lesson: John 1:1-5, 15
O verbum Patris (Ferko)
Great “O” Antiphon: O Clavis David
Lesson: Isaiah 61:1-3
Lesson: Luke 4:16-21
Come, thou long expected Jesus (Rickards)
Great “O” Antiphon: O Emmanuel
Lesson: Isaiah 9:1-2, 6
Lesson: Matthew 4:12-17
Jerusalem plantabis vineam (de Lassus)
Great “O” Antiphon: O Virgo Virginum
Lesson: Isaiah 7:10-14
Lesson: Matthew 1:20-23
Ave plena gratia (Maud)
Great “O” Antiphon: O Virga Jesse
Lesson: Isaiah 42:5-9
Lesson: Luke 2:25-32
There is no rose (English, 15th Century)
Great “O” Antiphon: O Rex Gentium
Lesson: Isaiah 35:1-6, 8a, 10
Lesson: Revelation 22:12, 16, 17, 20
E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come! (Manz)
Great “O” Antiphon: Veni Emmanuel
Vesper Responsory (Lehman)
O Thou, the central orb (Wood)
Versicles & Responses (Plainsong)
Lo! He comes with clouds descending (Helmsley)

MSR Classics