tom vignieri




Reviews of Hodie Christus natus est

...Last year Peace, an album on the Avie label by the Handel and Haydn Society chorus, made the Billboard charts. The follow-up disc, the Christmas album All Is Bright (Avie), may turn out to be chart material, too. The program is a strong selection of seasonal choral music from the 15th century to the present, with a particular emphasis on composers with New England connections: Charles Ives, Daniel Pinkham (his Sweet Music full of tender dissonances), Ned Rorem, Virgil Thomson, and Tom Vignieri, former Handel and Haydn artistic administrator. Music director Grant Llewellyn commissioned Vignieri's Hodie Christus natus est for the chorus. The last piece on the disc, it is both elegant in construction and inspiring in effect; it also pays harmonious tribute to a 16th-century setting of the same text by the Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck that opens the CD.



....other contemporary pieces include the final Hodie Christus natus est, commissioned by Llewellyn from Tom Vignieri. It makes a jubilant ending to a fine disc.



...[All is Bright] ends with a rousing new Hodie Christus natus est by Tom Vignieri.



Several other pieces deserve particular mention. Walton's King Herod and the cock, Eric Whitacre's luminescent Lux aurumque, and Ned Rorem's simply beautiful While all things were in quiet silence. But more noteworthy than even these is the last item on the disc, commissioned for the recording. Tom Vignieri's Hodie Christus natus est is an impressive and captivating work, with an exciting and challenging organ accompaniment and text-setting that can not fail to draw in the listener. The choir's performance is evidence, were any needed, that its members are more than up to the challenge of contemporary music, instilling it with a palpable enjoyment and brilliant tonal variations that perfectly match the well-judged proportions of the work.



...The disc ends as it began with a setting of Hodie Christus natus est, this time by Tom Vignieri. This piece was commissioned by Grant Llewellyn for the choir and here receives its first recording. There’'s an important part for solo baritone...and the most effective organ part is played extremely well by John Finney. Vignieri has produced an exciting, exuberant and joyful piece, which is built round a fine melodic idea. It makes a splendid conclusion to this programme and I hope the exposure of this recording will lead to other choirs taking it up.



...Tom Vignieri's Hodie Christus natus est, commissioned by conductor Llewellyn for the Handel & Haydn Society Chorus, receives its premiere recorded performance here... its bold style and lively organ accompaniment effectively projecting a festive spirit.