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Carols by Candlelight

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Bill Ives leads the men and boys' Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, in a diverse selection of carols for Advent and Christmas. The collection includes plainsong, Renaissance and Baroque motets, and anthems and carols from the 19th and 20th centuries. There are only a few widely familiar pieces, such as "O come, O come, Emmanuel"; "Gesù Bambino"; "In dulci jubilo"; and "Hark! The herald angels sing," and a handful likely to be known to fans of English cathedral singing, including "Of the Father's heart begotten," Mathias' "Sir Christèmas," Gardner's "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day," and Britten's "A Hymn to the Virgin."" The other works, though, are attractive, fit ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Bill Ives leads the men and boys' Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, in a diverse selection of carols for Advent and Christmas. The collection includes plainsong, Renaissance and Baroque motets, and anthems and carols from the 19th and 20th centuries. There are only a few widely familiar pieces, such as "O come, O come, Emmanuel"; "Gesù Bambino"; "In dulci jubilo"; and "Hark! The herald angels sing," and a handful likely to be known to fans of English cathedral singing, including "Of the Father's heart begotten," Mathias' "Sir Christèmas," Gardner's "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day," and Britten's "A Hymn to the Virgin."" The other works, though, are attractive, fit well on the album, and should appeal to listeners looking for Christmas music from slightly off the beaten path. The selections provide a nice timbral variety, ranging from unaccompanied plainsong to the boys alone, the men alone, small ensembles, and the full choir accompanied by organ. The tone of the album is mostly reverent, but the choir comes close to cutting loose in the Mathias and Gardner, and several of the familiar carols. Ives' interpretations vary from the conventional often enough for instance, in his snappy take on "O come, O come Emmanuel" that even the familiar works sound fresh and distinctive. The choir's tone is full and warm, but it's deployed at full strength rarely enough that when it is, it really pops. There are a few cadences where the intonation is a little dicey, but the singers correct themselves so quickly that it's not likely to be an issue for casual listening. Several Bach and Buxtehude chorale preludes, played by organist Martin Ford, are interspersed among the vocal selections. The sound is nicely resonant.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/10/2009
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • UPC: 093046749521
  • Catalog Number: 907495

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Creator alme siderum, hymn (Advent 1) - Gregorian Chant & Geneviève Begou (1:30)
  2. 2 The truth sent from above, carol for chorus or voice & piano (Traditional English Carols No. 6) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Geneviève Begou (2:18)
  3. 3 Earthly tree, duet for 2 sopranos - William Byrd & Geneviève Begou (4:37)
  4. 4 View me, Lord, for ATB chorus & organ - Charles Wood & Geneviève Begou (4:14)
  5. 5 Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (II), chorale prelude for organ (Achtzehn Choräle No. 8), BWV 659 (BC K82) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Geneviève Begou (4:36)
  6. 6 Work(s): I look from afar - Giovanni Pierliugi Palestrina & Geneviève Begou (2:34)
  7. 7 Rorate caeli de super - Giovanni Pierliugi Palestrina & Geneviève Begou (2:57)
  8. 8 How Beautiful Upon the Mountain, anthem for chorus & organ - John Stainer & Geneviève Begou (2:25)
  9. 9 O come, O come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, emmanuel), carol - Geneviève Begou & Christmas Traditional (3:09)
  10. 10 A Hymn to the Virgin, for double chorus - Benjamin Britten & Geneviève Begou (3:11)
  11. 11 The Blessed Son of God, for chorus (arranged from "Hodie," Christmas cantata) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Geneviève Begou (2:36)
  12. 12 In dulci jubilo (Piæ Cantiones) - Christmas Traditional & Robert Lucas Pearsall (3:26)
  13. 13 Chorale prelude for organ in G major, BuxWV 223, "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" - Dietrich Buxtehude & Geneviève Begou (5:34)
  14. 14 Of the Father's heart begotten (A Christmas Procession) - Geneviève Begou & Christmas Traditional (3:08)
  15. 15 Pastores loquebantur, motet for 6 voices - Francisco Guerrero & Geneviève Begou (2:53)
  16. 16 Ninna Nanna a Gesu Bambino - P.S. Zimarino & Geneviève Begou (2:48)
  17. 17 Maria Wiegenlied (Mary's Lullaby: "Maria sitzt am Rosenhag"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 76/52 - Max Reger & Geneviève Begou (2:04)
  18. 18 Sweet Was the Song - Geneviève Begou & Christmas Traditional (3:24)
  19. 19 Benedicamus Domino - Peter Warlock & Geneviève Begou (1:28)
  20. 20 Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (I), chorale prelude for organ (Achtzehn Choräle No. 11), BWV 662 (BC K85) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Geneviève Begou (7:42)
  21. 21 Sir Christèmas - William Mathias & Geneviève Begou (1:35)
  22. 22 Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, for chorus, Op. 75/2 - Geneviève Begou & John Eliot Gardiner (2:11)
  23. 23 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (adapted by W. H. Cummings from Mendelssohn's Festgesang for the Gutenberg Festival) - Charles Wesley & Felix Mendelssohn (3:11)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Magdalen College Choir, Oxford Primary Artist
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