MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Plum Pudding – A Christmas celebration in words and song
Felicity Lott (soprano); Gabriel Woolf (narrator)
Joyful Company of Singers/Peter Broadbent
rec. 30 November 2002, Champs Hill, Sussex, England

Experience Classicsonline

The Songs:
Trad arr. Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Wassail Song (arr.1919)
Tomas Luis da VICTORIA (1548-1611) O Magnum Mysterium (1572)
William BYRD (c.1543-1623) This Day Christ Was Born (1611)
Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Lully, Lullay (1956)
Rhian SAMUEL (b. 1944) Jolly Was the Shepherd (?)
Max REGER (1873-1916) Virgin Mary’s Slumber Song (arr. Peter Broadbent) (1912)
Peter CORNELIUS (1824-1874) The Three Kings (1856) (arr. Ivor Atkins)
Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Twelfth Night (setting of Laurie Lee’s poem) (1968)
Francisco GUERRERO (1528-1599) Virgen Sancta (1589)
Trad arr. Andrew CARTER (b. 1939) Esta Noche (This Night)
Trad The Holly and the Ivy (?) arr. Walford Davies (1869-1941)
Trad Welsh Deck the Hall (?) (arr. Peter Broadbent )
Trad The Twelve Days of Christmas (arr. Andrew Carter) (b.1939)
Franz Xaver GRUBER (1787-1863) Silent Night (1818)
The Readings:
John Clare: December
From The Wakefield Plays: God’s Speech
Anon: I Sing of a Maiden
T.S. Eliot: The Journey of the Magi
Laurie Lee: Christmas in Seville (excerpt)
Dylan Thomas: Memories of Christmas
E.V. Lucas: Christmas Decorations
John Julius Norwich: The Twelve Days of Christmas
Cpt. R.J. Armes: Christmas Truce (A Letter)
Leonard Clark: Singing in the Streets

This unusual and very welcome Christmas collection, mixing music and readings, is a sheer delight.
The polished multi-part singing of Peter Broadbent’s Joyful Company of Singers is justly celebrated and surely needs little comment from me. This album includes, as can be seen from the listing above, a dozen or more Christmas carols and songs delivered with refinement and, where appropriate, gusto and humour. Felicity Lott’s lovely soprano voice rings over and blends with their voices in a number of tracks. The music ranges from Tudor times – Byrd’s bell-like rhythms of This Day Christ Was born and the rapture of Victoria’s O Magnum Mysterium to the modern sound complete with the acceptable and telling dissonances of Rhian Samuel’s Jolly Was that Shepherd.
Gabriel Woolf’s readings add immeasurably to this celebration. All the readings are apposite. There’s John Clare’s golden portrait of a traditional country Christmas delivered in dialect. In Northern Country argot Woolf delivers God’s Speech from The Wakefield Plays, rendering it all the more direct and sincere. One of the most affecting readings though is that of Captain R.J. Armes’s letter from the mud and horrors of the Great War trenches describing how, for one blessed Christmas Day, enemies became friends. Humour is not forgotten: Dylan Thomas remembers, or tries to remember his childhood Christmases. E.V. Lucas relates how ladies squabbled over their church decorations and hilariously, how the recipient of the presents delivered over the Twelve Days of Christmas first entranced the recipient, then bemused, then annoyed, then angered and finally made him threaten the bestower with legal action.
Towards the end of the programme songs and readings are judiciously and very effectively mixed together.
Alas I have to carp a little about the standard of the booklet text: there are no track timings nor total timings and there is no room in its 8-pages for the texts of the songs.
One of the best Christmas albums I have ever heard. Not to be missed.

Ian Lace









Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.