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In Dulci Jubilo

In Dulci Jubilo [3:17]
Remember O thou Man [3:03]
Gently the Fragrance [3:11]
Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day [1:43]
Vous qui désirez sans fin [1:30]
Chrétiens qui suives líéglise [3:54]
Grâce soit renduë [1:30]
Philipp Friedrich BÖDDECKER (1607-1683)

Veni Salvator hominum [6:22}
Michel CORRETTE (1709-1795)

Quartrième Symphonie en quatuor [9:24]
Noël Provençal [2:01]
Nikolaus BRUHNS (1665-1697)

Jauxhzet dem Herrn, alle Welt [12:45]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)

Musettes from Les Fêtes díhébé [3:27]
Rigadouns from Les Fêtes díhébé [1:57]
Francois COUPERIN (1668-1733)

Musette from Troisième Concert Royal [2:20]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)

Bereitet die Wege, beritet die Bahn (from BWV 132) [5:40]
Mit zarten und vergnügten Trieben (from BWV 36b) [6:28]
The Aulos Ensemble: Christopher Krueger (flute and recorder); Marc Schachman (oboe); Linda Quan (violin); Myrnon Lutzke (cello); Arthur Hass (harpsichord and organ); Julianne Baird (soprano).
rec. 19-21 May 2006, Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.
CENTAUR CRC 2831 [68:38]

The Aulos Ensemble have produced in this recording one of the most elegant and delightful collections of Christmas music to have graced my stereo system in some years. Beautifully programmed and masterfully played, this is a disc of rather constant delights. Of particular merit is the superb flute and recorder playing of Christopher Krueger, who lives up to his fame as one of the finest flute virtuosos in the world. Having heard him play live several times, it is nice to know that an artist can produce equally superior performances both on recordings and in concert. There is also first rate playing from Marc Schachman, whose oboe tone is wonderfully sweet, and at times hauntingly plaintive.

Amongst an entire disc of attractive music, there are some definite standouts. It is perhaps in the instrumental selections that the group shines brightest. Of particular merit are the two lovely works by Michel Corrette, and the delightful excerpts from Rameauís Les Fêtes díhébé.

I was also particularly enamored of the lovely renditions of the traditional carols. The arrangements were lively and varied, and performed with a graceful simplicity that was most fetching. Julianne Baird has at this point in her career achieved near legendary status as a singer of early music. In this recording she sings with an elegant sweetness that is most pleasant to the ear. I would advise, however, that listeners consider taking the vocal pieces a few at a time, because the sameness of color in her singing and the one size fits all emotional and dynamic range of her performances wears on the ear after a long uninterrupted stretch.

In all, this is a fine addition to the vast collection of Christmas albums available, and a little treasure trove of gems that though old and familiar, are not in the least overdone or hackneyed. This disc is well worth the outlay!

Kevin Sutton


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