December 7, 2018 @ 8:00 pm
Baldwin Auditorium
1336 Campus Dr
Durham, NC 27705
Duke Performances

Praised for “a rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts” by NPR, and for “beautifully blended voices of individual distinction” (The Independent), New York Polyphony has made a name for itself by exploring the similarities between ancient and modern music. Known for their “resplendent and elegant” recordings of renaissance masterpieces (San Francisco Chronicle), these four singers have also commissioned many new works from living composers. Twice nominated for a GRAMMY Award, New York Polyphony is one of the world’s most sought-after male vocal quartets.

At Duke Performances, the quartet offers Sing Thee Nowell, an evening of exquisite sacred Christmas music. Spanning nine centuries, New York Polyphony sings early polyphonic works by Pérotin and Byttering; lush new compositions inspired by ancient music from living composers Andrew Smith and Michael McGlynn; arrangements of Basque carols both rousing and tender by Alexander Craig and Sir David Willcocks; the haunting Huron Carol (1643), the first Christmas music written in North America; Thomas Tallis’s Audivi Vocem de Caelo; and folklorist John Jacob Niles’ poignant I Wonder As I Wander, based on an Appalachian song fragment collected in Murphy, North Carolina in 1933.


  • Andrew Smith: Veni Redemptor Gentium
  • Pérotin: Sederunt Principes
  • Pérotin/Worcester Fragments: Beata Viscera
  • Andrew Smith: Ave Maria/Noël nouvelet
  • Traditional Huron/Canadian, arr. Murray: Huron Carol
  • Traditional French, arr. Craig: Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella
  • Thomas Byttering: Nesciens Mater
  • Thomas Tallis: Audivi Vocem de Caelo
  • Michael McGlynn: O Pia Virgo Mater
  • Traditional English, arr. Andrew Smith: Nowell : Out of Your Sleep
  • Traditional Basque, arr. Alexander Craig: The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came
  • Traditional Basque, arr. Sir David Willcocks: Sing Lullaby
  • Traditional English, arr. Geoffrey Williams: Adam Lay YBounden
  • Traditional American, arr. Paul Manz: E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come
  • Traditional Appalachian/John Jacob Niles, arr. Geoffrey Williams: I Wonder As I Wander
  • Camille Saint-Saëns: Serenade d’hiver
  • Traditional, arr. Alexander Craig: The Darkest Midnight in December