Weekend MusicWatch: Christmas classics and more

In Mulieribus sings music from Bohemia Friday.

In Mulieribus sings music from Bohemia Friday.

What with last weekend’s reprise airing of this year’s Portland performance of public radio’s “From the Top,” Oregon classical music is rocking the airwaves and the intertubes. If you’re traveling or just couldn’t make it to Cappella Romana and Portland Baroque Orchestra’s brilliant performances of Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” last weekend, around Oregon this season, you can hear a recording on Portland’s all-classical radio station, KQAC, Sunday at 6 pm over the air and streamed online. You can also hear Cappella Romana on this week’s episode of public radio’s wonderful weekly early music show, Harmonia, which runs Sundays on KQAC and Thursdays on Eugene’s KWAX and is available online. Music lovers who crave a last dose of live classical music this year have some splendid choices in the Portland area.

“Messiah,” Portland Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Chorale, Friday, St. Henry Catholic Church, Gresham, Sunday, St. Matthew Catholic Church, Hillsboro: The Hillsboro Community Youth Choir joins PCO and the Chorale for Friday’s performance of Handel’s choral-orchestral classic; Sunday’s concert at Lewis & Clark College is, alas, sold out.

“In Natali domni: Christmas in Bohemia,” In Mulieribus, Friday, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church: Sure, Portland thinks of itself as a boho paradise — but the original Bohemians weren’t above a little holiday celebration, as anyone who heard the Hilliard Ensemble’s recent recordings of Renaissance music discovered in a Prague monastery, the Codex Speciálník, knows. The concert also features music associated with Christmas by the great medieval composers Dufay and Perotin (his whirling classic “Viderunt Omnes”).

“Comfort and Joy,” Oregon Symphony, Pacific Youth Choir, Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall: Bring the kiddos to hear the classics — excerpts from “The Nutcracker,” “Messiah,” uh, “Home Alone,” and more.

“Christmas with Johnny Mathis,” Oregon Symphony, Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall: A crooner’s Christmas!

Bach Cantata Choir, Friday, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church: Two of J.S. Bach’s seasonal classics — “Magnificat “and cantatas from his “Christmas Oratorio” — top the program.

Portland Symphonic Girlchoir, Saturday, Zion Lutheran Church,: Christmas is mostly for kids, but they give back to the city via Portland’s many fine children’s music organizations, including this accomplished 130 voice group, which sings fresh arrangements of chestnuts like “Silent Night” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” along with seasonal music by Jackson Berkey, David Brunner, Gwyneth Walker and more.

“Calling My Children Home,” Aurora Chorus, Saturday, Lincoln Hall, Portland State University: The 90-voice women’s choir welcomes the Bay Area’s True Life Trio to perform music by their director, Portland’s own Joan Szymko, and other contemporary choral sounds from the Americas, Eastern Europe and more.


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