Carol

Here’s something to get you in the holiday spirit. (We figured since chain stores have started the Christmas season in October, we’d have to run this in September to stay ahead of the Joneses.) Wayne Peterson’s unaccompanied choral setting of a nativity anthem by the obscure Elizabethan poet William Austin adds a few twists to the annual rituals. For one thing, which will put a smile on the faces of secular humanists in the audience who still appreciate the spirit of Christmas if not the dogma, the poem never mentions Christ’s name. And, since the composer is Wayne Peterson whose music is unrepentantly atonal and rigorous, we are spared the usual triad clichés and our ears are bathed in gloriously unresolvable sonorities. I’m ready for the wreaths and mistletoe, bring it on!



—FJO