Advent Calendar Day 1 – Advent Responsory (Wadsworth)

Hello!  It’s been a long time since I last posted here, and this blog is being a bit dodgy at the moment, but today is the first Sunday in Advent, which means it’s Musical Advent Calendar Time!

(And yes, I know it isn’t December yet, but it *is* Advent nonetheless, so there you go)

I’ve always liked posting Palestrina’s Matin Responsory at the start of Advent, because the text ‘I look from afar’, and the dynamics (which suggest a choir slowly approaching from a distance) to me reflect the feeling that we are only at the start of the journey through advent, with Christmas in the distance.

This year, though, when I went to find my favourite recording of the Palestrina, I discovered that it was no longer available on YouTube except in a sadly truncated version (here, if you are interested), and I just couldn’t fall in love with any of the other recordings.

And then I found this Advent Responsory, by Zachary Wadsworth.

Edited December 2017: Alas, this YouTube clip is no longer available, but you can listen to a recording of this on Wadsworth’s website.

Wadsworth’s setting of the lyrics uses quite a lot of the same chant in the solo sections, but the choral bits are a whole other story, and completely new to me.  I can’t decide whether I love it as much as the Palestrina, but it is something new, and something beautiful, and certainly a worthy beginning to the Advent Season.

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