Earlier I mentioned seeing the all-male a cappella group Chanticleer perform at the Met. The most interesting piece they performed was John Tavener’s “Village Wedding.” Tavener describes the piece as follows:
Village Wedding is a series of musical and verbal images, describing a village wedding in Greece. My insertion of Isaiah’s Dance (the moment in the Orthodox marriage ceremony when the couple is solemnly led three times around the Holy Table by the Celebrant), and the whole tone of (Angelos) Sikelianos’ poetry, however, show that everything in the natural and visible world, when rightly perceived, is an expression of a supernatural and invisible order of reality.
I found a good recording of the piece as performed by the Idaho State University Chamber Choir, whose choreography for the piece is similar to Chanticleer’s (which was done with Tavener’s help). The frequent refrain provides good Advent contemplation: “O Isaiah dance for joy, for the Virgin is with child.”