Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) A Bach Christmas
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94103 [10 CDs: 549:14]
you want a Christmas with Bach you had better look for something
Psalms: 86; 148; Nunc Dimittis; I love my love
; The Coming of Christ
Robert Hardy.(narrator) Chamber Choir of St Paul’s Girls’ School/Heidi
Pegler City of London Choir; Holst Orchestra/Hilary Davan Wetton
rec. 2011. world premiere recording
EM RECORDS CD004 [58:54] [RB]
is a strong and indispensable entry in the English music revival.
also review by John Quinn
dedicated recording of a great Holst rarity, which is very well
Jacub RYBA (1765-1815)
Czech Christmas Mass, Song of Praise for the Festival of
the Birth of Christ Jan Václav
Antonín STAMITZ (1717-1757) Sinfonia pastorale
(1741-1805) Sinfonia pastorlis
Anna Hlavenková (soprano); Sylva Čmugrová (alto); Jan Ondrejka
(tenor); Roman Janál (bass); Pavel Černý (organ/harpsichord);
Czech Boy’s Choir Boni Pueri/Pavel Horák; Czech Chamber PO Pardubice/Marek
tryncl rec. 2011. DDD
ARCODIVA UP 0142-2131 [72.12]
It’s all quite seasonal in its happy disposition.
Night Before Christmas and
Simon Callow (narrator) RTÉ Concert Orch/Royal Ballet Sinf/Gavin
Sutherland rec. 2008-2011
NAXOS 8.572744 [79:20]
good stocking-filler or cockle-warmer.
also review by John
undemanding, unhackneyed and unexciting collection of Christmas
Colours of Christmas –
Full contents list at end of review
The Bach Choir, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, John Birch
(organ), Over the Bridge, onductor John Rutter rec. 2011
DECCA 2782129 [73:27]
good and enjoyable.
OF THE MONTH On
Ch St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2011
excellent and most enjoyable disc will be a high quality Christmas
present for a musical friend - or to give to yourself!
also review by Michael
I wanted a single disc of Christmas-themed music in my collection
I would be happy with this release.
Goes Baroque A
Musical Tour of Switzerland, Germany & Belgium
Slovak State Phil/Peter Breiner rec. 1989
family-friendly viewing, more than can be said of most Christmas
also review by Robert
of interesting content, well photographed, complements the musical
arrangements of popular Christmas tunes.
at St Paul’s
St Paul’s Cathedral Ch/John Scott, Huw Williams (organ)
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55443 [72:13]
musically and emotionally satisfying seasonal feast.
Golden Age of Light Music Christmas Celebration
GUILD GLCD5185 [77:57] [JW]
early Festive offering offers plenty of good cheer and it’s
never too early to slip something nice into your stocking.
– The Christmas Album
Joy to the World; Still, still, still; Carol
of the Bells; Veni, veni Emmanuel; Once in Royal
David’s City; O Holy Night; White Christmas;
Corpus Christi Carol; In Dulci Jubilo; Have
yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Sing the Story;
Coventry Carol; The First Nowell; Jubilate
Deo; While Shepherds Watched their Flocks; Lullabye
Libera/Robert Prizeman rec. 2011. stereo/DDD
EMI CLASSICS 50999 0 88635 2 2 [61:19]
If you like your Christmas complete
with fairies, glitter, inflatable snowmen and gold-leafed angels,
this is the disc for you.
Pudding Christmas songs and readings
Felicity Lott (soprano) Gabriel Woolf (reader) Joyful Company
of Singers/Peter Broadbent rec. 2002
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD 013 [77:44] [Byz]
consumed at Christmas, but as festive CDs go, it is certainly
one of the most appetising.
Holy Babe - A Collection
of Christmas Lullabies
Blossom Street/Hilary Campbell rec. 2011
NAXOS 8.572868 [57:07]
enjoyable and enterprising collection, offering some welcome
new listening for the Christmas season.
A Classical Christmas
Øystein Baadsvik (tuba) Cantus Women’s Ch, Trondheim SO/Torodd
Wigum rec. 2011
BIS-CD-1885 [65:00] [RB]
apple sweetness including one or two real seasonal jolts.
The King’s Singers
good selection, but I’m not convinced that it works as
to the World
The King’s Singers rec. 2010
SIGNUM SIGCD268 [58.39]
eminently enjoyable release that will please fans of The King’s
Singers and lovers of Christmas music alike.
PRAETORIUS (1571-1621) Christmas Music
Westminster Cathedral Ch, The Parley of Instruments/David Hill
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55446 [49:13] [JV]
every point of view this is an intriguing and captivating disc.
some from earlier years
- Christmas Fanfares and Carols
Aled Jones (readings), BBC Welsh Chorus, John Hugh Thomas, Huw
Tregelles Williams (organ), Fanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh
Guards, Lt. Col. P. Hannam, BEM, musical director rec. 3-4 February
and 1 July 1991, Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. DDD
NIMBUS NI 5310 [73:34]
Traditional Latin Plainchant for Christmas
The Monks of Prinknash Abbey; The Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey
rec. 1987. DDD. Texts and translations included.
SAYDISC CD-SDL 369 [62:48]
for those seeking peace and simplicity at Christmas
Robert Sharpe (organ); The Choir of Lichfield Cathedral/Andrew
Lumsden rec. Lichfield Cathedral, 12-15 February 1996. DDD.Texts
NIMBUS NI5496 [69:57]
may be the collection you’re looking for
Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. Chichester Cathedral, 16-17 August
NIMBUS NI7711 [71:45]
most attractive recording
Rejoice, O People:
Music for Advent and Christmas
The Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge/Christopher
Robinson Iain Farrington (organ) rec. 14–15 July 1998, Chapel
of St. John's College, Cambridge
NIMBUS NI 5589 [66:42]
We Joy -
Music for Christmas by Gustav
HOLST (1874 - 1934) and William
WALTON (1902 - 1983)
Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford/Stephen Darlington Simon
Lawford (organ) rec. Merton College Chapel Oxford, 11- 12 May
NIMBUS NI7021 [49:41]
you are looking for a choral disc of Christmas music without
resorting to the usual “lessons & carols” format
you will be hard pressed to do better than this.
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 7839 [71:21]
magnificent, fascinating, compilation.
- American Christmas Carols
James Higdon (organ); Pamela Williamson (soprano solo); Lyra
Pringle Pherigo (flute); Wesley Kelly (harp); Kansas City Chorale/Charles
NIMBUS NI5413 [67:03]
beautiful a disc of precious Christmas music as you are likely
to hear this or any year