December 23, 2020 at 7pm — January 2, 2021


A Holiday Toast

Christmas Concerto Op. 6 No. 8                                               Arcangelo Corelli (1653—1713)

I. Vivace — Grave
II. Allegro
III. Adagio — Allegro — Adagio
IV. Vivace
V. Allegro
VI. Largo — Pastorale ad libitum


Three American Folk Hymns                                                                       Kenji Bunch (b. 1973)

I. Prologue
II. “What Wondrous Love is This”
III. “In Lonely Mountain Ways” — “I Come with Joy”


Sinfonia No. 1 and 2                                                                     Leonora Duarte (1610 – 1678?)

Variation V                                                                                                        Kevin Day (b. 1996)
Selections from Wood Works                                                                    Danish String Quartet

I. Sønderho Bridal Trilogy — part II
II. Sekstur from Vendsyssel — The Peat Dance


Greg Ewer, Megumi Stohs Lewis, Sasha Callahan, violins

Charles Noble, viola

Leo Eguchi, cello​


Our Holiday Toast is a joyous program of music which aims to bring light into the winter darkness. It features a diverse seasonal selection of familiar and lesser-known gems spanning almost four centuries and many genres.


We open the concert with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, which includes one of the most gorgeous Pastorale movements, perfectly capturing the timely spirit of comfort and peace.

Violist and composer Kenji Bunch is an SCP favorite, so you’ve heard us play a number of his gorgeous, playful pieces over the years, including the Three American Folk Hymns on this program. The piece opens with a reflective, tranquil prologue that gradually segues into more boisterous explorations of traditional American folk traditions. The parts interweave beautifully and explore a wide variety of sound colors. The final tune says it all: “I come with Joy.”

Born in 1610 in Antwerp, Belgium, Leonora Duarte was part of a prominent Portuguese-Jewish family and the only known female composer of music for Viol Consort. Seven Sinfonia survive, of which we will perform the first two. These rich, mystical fantasies, originally written for five parts, invite you to pull up a comfortable chair by the fireplace and pause in repose for a few moments.

Written nearly 400 years later, Kevin Day’s Variation V will get your toes tapping and maybe even inspire you to take a quick spin around the room. This single movement string quartet is a quick romp full of bright dancing energy paired with a singing melody that passes from one player to the next.

We conclude the program with a selection of Scandinavian folk melodies as arranged by the brilliant Danish String Quartet. If Variation V doesn’t get your toes tapping, these imaginative, colorful settings will for sure. These pieces convey the infectious, universal joy that music brings cultures all around the world.

We’ve had such a great time choosing music that captures what we love most about this time of year, from the natural reflex to turn inward for reflection and repose on these short days, to the need for celebration and warmth and hope. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and that this music brings you comfort and light.