The Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church will hold the choral refrains of Christmases past with the Choral Society of the Hamptons concert “A Baroque Christmas” on Dec. 9, with performances at 3 and 5:30 p.m. A benefit brunch at Pierre’s in Bridgehampton will precede the concerts and a silent auction will follow.
The concert will feature both a full chamber orchestra and the soloists Suzanne Schwing, Mischa Bouvier, Mary Hubbell, Emily Eagan, and J. Andy McCullough. Ms. Schwing, a mezzo soprano, and Mr. Bouvier, a bass, appeared with the society in last year’s performance of “Messiah” and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio the prior year. Ms. Hubbell and Ms. Eagan, who are sopranos, and Mr. McCullough, a tenor, are making their debuts with the society.
Mark Mangini, the society’s music director, will conduct the program, which begins and ends with settings of the celebratory Magnificat, legendarily sung by Mary before the birth of Jesus. These settings, by the Neapolitan composer Giovanni Pergolesi and the Venetian master Antonio Vivaldi, the most-performed Baroque composer, counterpoise phrases sung by different parts of the chorus, reaching spirited — and topical — peaks when the chorus declares that the “mighty” will be “put down from their seat,” according to the society in a release.
Between those pieces, several other works will be performed. They include another by Vivaldi, the vesper psalm “Beatus Vir”; a Christmas Cantata by Marc Antoine Charpentier, the late 17th-century music director of Sainte Chapelle in Paris, and “In Dulci Jubilo” by Dietrich Buxtehude, a noted predecessor of Bach. The orchestra will perform the Christmas Concerto by Arcangelo Corelli.
At the 3 p.m. performance, the chorus will be joined by the East Hampton High School Vocal Camerata, directed by David Douglas, in a lyrical setting of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Both concerts will close with the society’s traditional presentation of familiar carols that the audience is asked to join in singing.
The cost for the concert is $25 in advance on the society’s Web site choralsocietyofthehamptons.org and at Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor. They will be $35 at the door. Student tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
The benefit brunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. and tickets begin at $200 per person. A free reception and silent auction will follow the 5:30 performance at the Bridgehampton Community House.
In December, the Choral Society will release its first commercially-available recording, of last year’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah” with orchestra and soloists. Copies are expected to be available in local stores that carry CDs as well as on the society’s Web site. It will also be available to download at CDBaby. com.