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Winter and Rough Weather


Wintery works by Poulenc, Rutter, David Hamilton, John Ritchie and others


To mark the shortest day, Nota Bene has assembled a programme of pieces evoking snow-clad fields, naked trees, bitter winds and treacherous ice. As the title suggests, Shakespeare texts abound, in settings by John Ritchie, William Mathias and John Rutter.


Debussy’s Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain can find nothing at all to recommend winter, while Francis Poulenc’s cycle Un soir de neige reveals a haunting beauty in the bleak and desolate landscapes.


The vocal writing in Eric Whitacre’s What Snow!, from his Five Hebrew Songs, suggests snowflakes melting into one another, while David Hamilton’s A Winter Twilight (presented in its Wellington premiere) uses a range of contemporary choral techniques to explore themes of silence and loneliness.


John Rutter’s cycle When Icicles Hang draws on early English texts contrasting the harshness of winter with the delights of staying warm indoors, enjoying hearty company and ‘good ale’. In much the same spirit, the choir invites you to stay on after our concert to enjoy some mulled wine and winter cheer.


Nota Bene is conducted by Christine Argyle, with accompanists Julie Coulson (piano), Sharon Callaghan and Carolyn van Leuven (violin) and Hannah Sassman (flute).


Old Saint Paul’s, Mulgrave Street, Wellington

Tickets $25, concession $20, schoolchildren free

Bookings available from 


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