Ottorino Respighi was one of the great orchestral colorists of the 20th century, famous for symphonic poems, including Pines of Rome. His Laud to the Nativity, based on a 13th century poem, is a beautiful pastoral cantata depicting the birth of Jesus. Set for chorus with vocal soloists, a small wind ensemble, and piano (four hands), the work uses madrigals and plainchant to evoke an ancient simplicity while incorporating vivid modern harmonies and beautiful orchestral colors.
Boston Musical Intelligencer: “We thought the chorus was well together and in fine voice; once again, the pianissimi produced a thrilling effect, but also the big set-piece Gloria near the end was effective and packed the necessary punch. “