This Christmas Carol starts with the Psalm 130, De profundis, which is sung for the second Vespers of Christmas, and expresses the cry of the Christ, descended on earth, to his Father. It is followed by a tenor Aria with some lyrics from the Gospel of Luke (2, 10), when the angel comes to announce the birth of Jesus. It is finally concluded by a very long Fugue on the Psalm 117, Laudate Dominum Omnes Gentes, used as an antiphon during the Christmas liturgical time.
It was composed during summer 2018 and was created by the International Choir and Orchestra of Ho Chi Minh City on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2018.
Gregory Notebaert is an extremely talented composer and director. Having sung under his baton for over three years in the International Choir and Orchestra of Ho Chi Minh City as well as the Saigon Chamber Consort, I have had the chance to sing many of his original compositions. His works are intellectually complex with fascinating rhythmic devices as well as melodically appealing. In my singing career of over 30 years, I have rarely seen a talent such as Greg.
With Grégory Notebaert I realized several liturgical songs as a Lyricist. He understands the rhythm of words and the dynamics of sentences; his melodies are beautiful and they are dressed in harmonizations that enhance the singing. We are preparing together an upcoming CD with hymns of praise. The composition contest in Lyon in 2018, on the theme Laudato si, was a highlight of our collaboration. His musical work deserves attention.
I sang my first arrangement of a Vietnamese carol Cao Cung Lên by Gregory Notebaert in 2015. From that time I have grown to appreciate and love his arrangements and original compositions for choir and orchestra. I have also known Gregory as conductor of both the International Choir & Orchestra of HCMC and the Saigon Chamber Consort where I sang in the bass sections. Gregory’s arrangements and original compositions are both challenging and sensitive to the poetic line of the lyrics. Some of his compositions, like Rorate Cæli Desuper incorporate traditional themes and styles – like Gregorian chant – which make them both appealing to the audience and challenging and fun for the chorister alike.