perfect gift for Christmas!
New reviews will be added at the
top as they come in so this will be a continuously growing file.
Early Baroque Festive Music for Christmas Time by Stadlmayr,
Schütz & Gabrieli
Orpheus Chor München, Les Cornets Noirs/Gerd Guglhör
OEHMS CLASSICS OC 839 [61:42] [JV]
Well worth investigating, despite some
Lessons and Carols
The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury
Ben-San Lau (organ) rec. 2010-12
KING’S COLLEGE KGS0001 [52:31 + 58:24] [JQ]
ideal souvenir of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
Christmas Memories Album
ALTO ALN1920 [75:55]
at King's College Cambridge
Choir of King's College Cambridge/David Willcocks, Simon Preston
ALTO ALC1190 [65:23]
English Medieval Wind Ensemble/Mark Brown, Pro Cantione Antiqua
ALTO ALC1004 [65:48]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Cardiff Festival Ch/Owain Arwel Hughes, Robert Court (organ)
GRIFFIN GCCD 4072 [62:54]
with the Vienna Boys' Choir: The Christmas Movie
insight into the life of the boys of the Vienna Choir would
have gained from more musical examples. Sparse timing overall!
A. SPEIGHT (b.
1945) Barn er oss fætt (Unto Us)
Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis, Mótettukór Hallgrímskirkju,
Iceland SO/Hörður Áskelsson rec. 2002
SMEKKLEYSA SMK 41 [66:50] [JQ]
sincere piece but with little evidence of Christmas joy.
for the Holidays
Dallas Wind Symphony/Jerry Junkin rec. 2011
REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-126 [62:42] [NB]
leave the last word to the liner; “Merry Christmas y’all!”
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Chamber Choir of the Frauenkirche, Ensemble Frauenkirche/Matthias
Grünert rec. 2011
BERLIN CLASSICS 0300427BC [72:56 + 66:59] [JV]
contributions of the soloists are the most satisfying part of
this live recording.
- Traditional carols in a new light
King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, Mardi Brass/Tom Appleton
LIR CLASSICS LIR024 [60:03] [DRD]
arrangements of old favourites, which in the main make for a
hard listen - not one for the stocking!
die Tore weit
Kay Johannsen (organ) Handel's Companye Continuo, Stuttgarter
Hymnus-Chorknaben/Rainer Johannes Homburg rec. 2011
MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 90217256
choir's singing and its sense of style are admirable, but the
arrangements of various pieces were a bad idea.
OF THE MONTH Benjamin
- 1976) A Ceremony of Carols, Saint Nicholas
Trinity College Cambridge Ch/Stephen Layton, rec. 2007/12
HYPERION CDA67946 [73:30]
Hodie: Advent to Christmas Day
Worcester Cathedral Chamber Ch/Stephen Shellard, rec.2009
REGENT REGCD330 [75:40] [MG]
is agreeable but Trinity is outstanding.
A Ceremony of Carols, St. Nicolas Cantata,
Trinity College Cambridge Ch/Stephen Layton, rec.
HYPERION CDA67946 [73:30] [JQ]
new Britten recordings set the bar high in advance of his centenary
David Goode (organ scholar) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen
Cleobury. rec. 1994
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9186 [66:11] [DD]
A splendid selection from the world famous choir, which will
give much pleasure.
1955) The Seeds of Stars
NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir/Bob Chilcott rec. 2012
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD311 [60:06] [ST]
singing captured beautifully … sure to appeal, and not just
Christmas Motets, Deutsche Messe
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Frieder
Bernius rec. 2008/9
93.293 [66:34] [BW]
music, constructed with a craftsmanship worthy of Arnold Mendelssohn’s
more famous forebear … excellent performances and well recorded.
Cantata for Christmas, 8 Carols,
*Stephen King (organ); Mark Williams (piano) City of London
Choir; Paulina Voices, The Holst O/Hilary Davan Wetton; *Chris
Gardner rec. 2012
EM RECORDS EMR CD009 [59:40]
Another enterprising issue from EM Records of English music
that deserves to be much better known. [JQ]
A great stocking-filler, accomplished
music-making and unusual repertoire. [HP-R]
Congratulations to all concerned
in its presentation and in the wonderfully committed and prepared
performances. Worth every penny.[GH]
Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2007/8,
NAXOS 8.572673 [62:29] [BR]
This album is a class act. The Grinch
inside me didn’t say a thing. Instead my Christmas-carol-hating
heart grew a size or two.
music from Latin America and Spain
The Toronto Consort/David Fallis rec. 2011
MARQUIS MAR81435 [68:02] [DD]
unusual Christmas record from Latin America and Spain very well
Jan RYBA (1765-1815)
Christmas Mass (“Hej, Mistře!”) Anon Czech Christmas
Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, Czech Chamber Soloists/Petr
Fiala rec. 2012
ARCODIVA UP 0155 CD [53:00][JS]
would not want to miss such an engaging performance of this
very engaging work.
A Cold Winter’s Day
Quadriga Consort rec. 2012, Track details at end of review
CARPE DIEM CD 16293 [58.59][GH]
on, add it to your Christmas cheer and get a bit of Quadriga
- 1755) Neapolitan Music for Christmas -
Volumes 1 & 2
Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2010/11
CPO 777 571-2 & 777 734-2 [72:51 & 70:27]
who like to hear something less conventional during Christmastide
should investigate these discs.
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD291 [63:12] [JQ]
and technical accomplishment from Voces8 but much on this disc
seems too smooth and effortless.
von HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900)
Die Geburt Christi
Ensemble Oriol, Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Kammerchor der
Hochschule der Künste Berlin/Christian Grube rec. 1988
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC 98.001 [54:42 + 27:29] [BR]
Something unhackneyed and enjoyable for Christmas … but short
value for a 2-CD set.
Comes the Day -
Carols and Antiphons for Advent
Queens’ College Ch, Cambridge, The Queens’ Chapel Players/Silas
Wollston rec. 2012
ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100027 [62:10][DD]
serious and thought-provoking collection of Advent works very
Wilhelm ZACHOW (1663
- 1712) Christmas Cantatas
Constanze Backes (soprano) Capella Frisiae, Accademia Amsterdam/Ludger
Rémy rec. 2009
QUINTONE Q10001 [79:25] [JV]
welcome as it pays attention to a composer whose vocal oeuvre
has been unjustly neglected for too long.
Blossom Street/Hilary Campbell rec. 2011
NAXOS 8.572868 [57.07]
performances of an intelligently and well thought out contemporary
the Younger (1709
- 1753) Christmas Cantatas - Vol. 2
Cantus Wettinianus Dresden, Les Amis de Philippe/Ludger Rémy
CPO 777 611-2 [60:33] [JV]
disc once again proves the commanding qualities of Georg Gebel
the Younger as a composer of sacred music.
Hereford Cathedral Choir/Geraint Bowen
REGENT REGCD388 [72:22] [JQ]
worth considering as a Christmas present for someone.
Mysterium - A Celtic Christmas Vespers
Meredith Hall (soprano) Ensemble Le Nef/Sylvain Bergeron,
Apollo’s Fire/Jeanette Sorrell (harpsichord) rec. 2011
AVIE-AV2269 [69:04] [DD]
unusual and thought-provoking Christmas disc sparklingly performed.
Wells Cathedral Ch/Matthew Owens rec. 2012
REGENT REGCD 399 [62:17] [Byz]
to imagine a better Christmas CD.
Choir of Merton College, Oxford/Peter Phillips and Benjamin
Nicholas rec. 2012
DELPHIAN DCD34122 [56:21] [JQ]
of a handful of recordings that will stand head and shoulders
above the flood of discs of music for the 2012 Christmas season.
Louise Prickett (soprano) Christina Leonard (saxophone)
Australian Brandenburg Ch & O/Paul Dyer (conductor and harpsichord)
ABC CLASSICS 476 4687 [71:56] [JW]
A different and eclectic way to spend the Christmas season.
Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse, Martin Ford (organ) rec. 2011
NAXOS 8.573030 [73:48] [JQ]
highly entertaining and very polished Christmas album.
John Wells and Nicholas Forbes (organists) Musica Sacra, Auckland
PO brass and percussion/Indra Hughes rec. 2011
ATOLL ACD 342 [71.21] [PCG]
is not clear precisely which Christmas market this disc is aimed
Ch Jesus College, Cambridge/Mark Williams rec. 2011
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD269 [68:13] [DD]
very well chosen selection of Christmas Choral music magnificently
Spirit of Christmas Present
The Elysian Singers of London/Sam Laughton, Mark Brafield (organ)
MERIDIAN CDE 84601 [59:35][JQ]