"[All Is Calm] can transport audiences to parts of the heart rarely explored."
--St. Paul Pioneer Press
All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
By Peter Rothstein
With musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach
Last here in 2008 for the A Cappella festival, male choral ensemble Cantus returns with arrangements of European carols and war-songs for a cappella voices in All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. It recalls the remarkable World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers in No Man's Land on Christmas, 1914. All Is Calm tells the story of this extraordinary event with words and songs from the soldiers who laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas. In some places, the truce lasted just for a night, in others until New Year's Day, but during those fleeting moments in a war that lasted four years, enemy troops traded carols, food, and drink; played soccer matches; and helped bury each other's dead. This dramatic re-telling contains quotes from 30 World War I figures and the tapestry of sound ranges from patriotic tunes and trench songs to medieval Scottish ballads and holiday carols from England, Wales, France, and Germany. The music is performed by the artists of Cantus, who also open the production with a set of Christmas carols arranged by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams for his own battalion.
Post Performance Discussion: Immediately following the performance, Peter Rothstein talks about the creation of All Is Calm, the research he conducted in England, France, Belgium, and Germany, and the vital role that music played in the Christmas Truce of 1914. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Program and Notes
- All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
- Vocal Ensemble
The Fortas Chamber Music Concerts are supported by generous contributors to the
Abe Fortas Memorial Fund, and by a major gift to the fund
from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.
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