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Blue Heron: Keeping Renaissance Holiday Music Alive13:57
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The members of Blue Heron. (Courtesy of Liz Linder)
The members of Blue Heron. (Courtesy of Liz Linder)

When you think of Christmas tunes, 15th and 16th century choral music isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind. But the holiday program of the Boston-based vocal ensemble, Blue Heron, might have you reconsidering those tickets to "The Nutcracker."

"It's music that I love very much. I find it very powerful and interesting and expressive," Scott Metcalfe, Blue Heron's artistic director, shared.

Scott Metcalfe is the artistic director of the Blue Heron vocal ensemble. (Courtesy of Liz Linder)
Scott Metcalfe is the artistic director of the Blue Heron vocal ensemble. (Courtesy of Liz Linder)

This type of music is rarely performed in the Boston area, but that doesn't mean it lacks in dynamism.

"In the 15th century, in a five-voice piece, every single voice is equally important and equally interesting and equally textured," Metcalfe continued. "So it's a big conversation happening between happening between people at a table, where nobody waits for other people to finish what they're saying before they reply."

Though many of us consume music through ear buds, Metcalfe reminds us of the special quality of live performance.

"We're so drugged by the availability of music, 24/7 in digital form, but there is absolutely no substitute for being in a room with a real human being who's making music for you — especially a singer, eh?"

Blue Heron will perform two concerts celebrating Christmas in 15th century France and Burgundy on Friday, December 21 and Saturday, December 22, both at 8 p.m. at First Church in Cambridge.

Guest:

  • Scott Metcalfe, artistic director of the Blue Heron vocal ensemble

This segment aired on December 19, 2012.

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