Aulos Ensemble

In Dulci Jubilo

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The Aulos Ensemble has performed annual Christmas concerts in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art since the 1980s. In 2006 the period instrument quintet and soprano Julianne Baird developed a new holiday program entitled "In Dulci Jubilo" and recorded it for Centaur. It combines works covering the entire Baroque period, not necessarily specific to Christmas, and arrangements -- made by the group -- of old, traditional carols. The Aulos' instrumental makeup of flute or recorder, oboe, violin, cello, and harpsichord or organ is used very effectively in the arrangements, frequently imitating the drone of a musette. It gives the program an ancient and rustic sound that reminds listeners just how old the celebration of Christmas is. The pacing of the selections is never very fast or too animated. It allows Baird the luxury of finding a sweetness in the music, gently inserting ornaments into her singing. Aulos and Baird let the joy of the music reveal itself, rather than forcing it into the music. Even their arrangement of "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" is more contemplative than dancing. In the center of the program are three longer works: a sacred concerto for voice by Phillip F. Böddecker, Michel Corrette's Symphonie en quatuor, and the solo cantata "Jauchzet dem Herren" by Nicolaus Bruhns. The Böddecker is very Italianate -- a highly ornamented vocal part with a rather plain continuo -- and so is the Bruhns, but it has more sophisticated instrumental parts that interact with the voice. Baird excellently gives both works emotional shaping without overdoing it. The Allegros of Corrette's Symphonie and his Noël Provençal are the liveliest portions of the program. They dance, but not too vigorously. In the modern world, preparations for the end of the year holidays are often hectic and sometimes overwhelming. In Dulci Jubilo gives the listener a chance to slow down, breathe, and regain a sense of peace.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:15 Amazon
2 03:01 Amazon
3 03:12 Amazon
4 01:47 Amazon
5 06:19 Amazon
Symphonies (6) En Quatuor Contenant les Plus Beaux Noels Francais et Étrangers'
6 09:25 Amazon
7 12:48 Amazon
Les Fêtes d'Hébé ou Les Talents lyriques, ballet héroïque
8 03:27 Amazon
9 01:30 Amazon
Les Fêtes d'Hébé ou Les Talents lyriques, ballet héroïque
10 02:00 Amazon
11 03:54 Amazon
Troisième concert, for harpsichord (or violin, flute, oboe, viol & bassoon) in A major (Concerts royaux)
12 02:20 Amazon
13 01:31 Amazon
Cantata No. 132, "Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn," BWV 132 (BC A6)
14 05:41 Amazon
Cantata No. 36b, "Die Freude reget sich," BWV 36b (BC G38)
15 06:29 Amazon
16 01:59 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick