Christmas Reviews 2015
ABOS (1715-1760) A
Maltese Christmas - Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens
rec. 2015 CPO 777978-2 [67:53]
[JF] A discovery that
makes an ideal and thoroughly enjoyable Christmas
Alan BULLARD (b.1947) O Come, Emmanuel - Music for Advent & Christmas -
Selwyn College/Sarah MacDonald rec. 2014
REGENT REGCD456 [70:39] [JQ]
Alan Bullard's well-crafted music has been well served here.
Giovanni Battista COSTANZI (1704-1778) Cantata per Natale
Gambe di Legno/Alessandro Ciccolini rec. 2011
FRA BERNARDO FB1409323 [72:30] [JV]
Nice music, interesting instrumental scoring and good performances.
Ferenc FARKAS (1905-2000)
Christmas Cantata & other choral Music -
Ascolta/Peter Broadbent rec. 2015
TOCCATA TOCC0296 [63:48] [JW]
Those who have followed the Farkas trail thus far will want to expand their horizons with this disc.
LUTOSŁAWKSI (1913-1994) Polish Christmas Carols - Piotr
Kusiewicz (tenor); Waldemar Malicki (piano) rec. 1986 DUX 0383
[37:48] [BW] The versions for soloist, choir
and orchestra on Naxos are more immediate in appeal, but Lutosławski
enthusiasts may prefer this recording.
- Apollo's Fire, Musettes & Singers/Jeannette
Sorrell rec. 2005 AVIE AV2306
[74:40] [JV] Jeannette
Sorrell has succeeded in creating a vivid and
compelling concert experience.
- Gerlinde Sämann (soprano) Georg Poplutz (tenor)
Dresdner Barock O & Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph
Rademann rec. 2014 CARUS 83.257
[61:38] [JV] This recording
should be welcomed as a nice addition to the
Advent to Epiphany
The Frobenius Organ at Oundle School Chapel - Alexander Eadon
(organ) rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1164 [68:29] [JF] An enjoyably
seasonal and inclusive exploration of one of the more interesting neo-classical
organs in the UK.
from Coventry A Memorial Tribute to Sir David Willcocks
- Saint Michael’s Singers/Paul Leddington Wright; Kerry Beaumont
(organ) rec. 2014 EM RECORDS EMRCD035 [58:28] [CC]
If a more traditional Christmas disc is required look no further.
Carols from King’s - 60th Anniversary Edition
Ch King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury
rec. 2014 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0013
DVD [74.30 + 58.55] [RJF] An insight into a world that many, atheist or devout or other faiths, will have joined and enjoyed via the BBC, on Christmas Eve.
Christmas a Cappella I & II Musica
Sacra/Indra Hughes rec. 2001/7 ATOLL ACD501/207 [65:36 &
Covers a large repertoire of Christmas carols from around the world with a commendable variety of styles, moods and periods.
Christmas from Christ's Carols by Warlock, Holst, and Vaughan Williams -
Christ's College/David Rowland rec. 2014
REGENT REGCD446 [73:49] [JQ]
A delightful disc of English Christmas music.
Christmas in Medieval England
Blue Heron/Scott Metcalfe rec. 2013
BLUE HERON BHCD1006 [71:27] [JV]
I didn't enjoy this disc as much as I had hoped.
Music Through the Ages rec.
1973-1995 SAYDISC CDSDL437
[78:38 + 77:34] [GPJ]
An infinitely varied and delightful selection
of Christmas music down the centuries –
at Norwich Ch of Norwich Cathedral/Ashley Grote rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1148 [79:49] [CC]
Music aplenty to enjoy.
Day Music for Christmas -
Sara Cutler (harp) Stephen Buzard, Benjamin
Sheen (organ) St Thomas Ch New York/John Scott
rec. 2015 RESONUS RES10158
[63:58] [JQ] An enjoyable
Christmas disc – and a reminder of the
talent of John Scott.
Celebration Lisa Delan (soprano) Lester Lynch (baritone)
Volti Ch, New Century CO/Dawn Harms rec. 2014
PENTATONE PTC5186537 SACD [57:06] [JQ] A worthy enterprise
but I’m not fully convinced.
The Golden Age of Light Music
A Carol Symphony - Music for the Festive Season rec. 1951-62 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5233 [79:11]
A tempting seasonal feast of music.
Carols and Anthems for Christmas - Cantemus Chamber Ch/Huw
Williams, Robert Court (organ) rec. 2015 REGENT REGCD466
[64:04] [BMC] Admirable throughout, with a full, rich, harmonious communal
voice, both nimble and joyful.
A Very English Christmas Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2015
BENE ARTE SIGCD902 [55:35] [JQ]
A shrewdly chosen programme of English Christmas music, splendidly performed.
Very English Christmas Tenebrae/Nigel
Short rec. 2015 BENE
ARTE SIGCD902 [55:35] [ST]
It's seasonal, beautiful and very appealing.
Go for it.
Weynacht Gesaenge Baroque Advent and Christmas Music - Stimmwerck rec. 2012 CHRISTOPHORUS
CHR77364 [67:51] [BW] An attractive collection
of quieter Christmas music.
Wondrous Mystery Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas
- Stile Antico rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI SACD HMU807575
[72:57] [JW] A well-judged, sympathetic church recording … a long
list of recommendable offerings.
A Wondrous Mystery Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas -
Stile Antico rec. 2015
HARMONIA MUNDI SACD HMU807575 [72:57] [ST]
Every bit as excellent as we have come to expect.
A York Yuletide
York Minster Ch/Robert Sharpe rec. 2015
REGENT REGCD467 [63:27] [JF]
An attractive and enjoyable Christmas selection.
Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton rec. 2014 HYPERION
CDA68087 [65:13] [JQ]
A splendid and varied disc of Christmas
music, immaculately performed.
Yulefest! Ch Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen
Layton rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68087
[65:00] [CC] A magnificent
Christmas offering, a real gift from Hyperion
to the Festive Season. Difficult to imagine
this one being topped.