Christmas

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
For its album of Christmas music, British vocal octet Voces8 has put together an exceptionally attractive collection of classic carols and anthems mixed with less familiar works. The most striking aspects of the performances are a rare level of tonal clarity and a focused unanimity in the singers' vowels that produce a ringing, almost startling purity, which is enhanced by the crystalline, ideally resonant sound of Signum's CD. The focused tone allows the group to sound much larger than an octet, so the dynamic range of their performances is unusually broad and expressive, from the hushed opening of "Coventry Carol" to the rhapsodic fullness of "In dulci jubilo." The ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
For its album of Christmas music, British vocal octet Voces8 has put together an exceptionally attractive collection of classic carols and anthems mixed with less familiar works. The most striking aspects of the performances are a rare level of tonal clarity and a focused unanimity in the singers' vowels that produce a ringing, almost startling purity, which is enhanced by the crystalline, ideally resonant sound of Signum's CD. The focused tone allows the group to sound much larger than an octet, so the dynamic range of their performances is unusually broad and expressive, from the hushed opening of "Coventry Carol" to the rhapsodic fullness of "In dulci jubilo." The sound has plenty of warmth, too, and the voices, which can blend so beautifully, have distinctive and colorful character when given solos lines. "Radiant" and "luminous" are adjectives that are perhaps overused in describing choral sound, but in this case they are fully deserved. Jim Clements provides three new arrangements of traditional carols. They are notable for the way they capture and intensify the essential meaning of each carol. This is especially evident in his version of "I Wonder As I Wander," which concludes with a wonderful, ecstatically wandering canon and which has the additional virtue of subtly and cleverly correcting the grammatical awkwardness of the first verse. The program is marvelously varied, but all of the pieces, whether written in the middle ages or the 21st century, are gorgeous examples of sumptuous choral writing, and these performance do them full justice. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/24/2012
  • Label: Signum Uk
  • UPC: 635212029121
  • Catalog Number: 291
  • Sales rank: 62,640

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Once in Royal David's City, carol - Henry John Gauntlett & Paul Smith (3:08)
  2. 2 Gabriel's Message (Basque) - Christmas Traditional & Paul Smith (2:59)
  3. 3 O magnum mysterium, motet for chorus (4 motets pour le temps de Noël), FP 152/1 - Francis Poulenc & Paul Smith (2:57)
  4. 4 Away in A Manger - Anonymous & Christmas Traditional (2:56)
  5. 5 Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French) - Anonymous & Christmas Traditional (1:34)
  6. 6 I Wonder As I Wander (American) - Christmas Traditional & Paul Smith (3:32)
  7. 7 Totus Tuus, for chorus, Op. 60 - Henryk Mikolaj Górecki & Paul Smith (8:40)
  8. 8 Coventry Carol (2): "Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child" - Christmas Traditional & Traditional (3:23)
  9. 9 Videntes stellam, motet for chorus (4 motets pour le temps de Noël), FP 152/3 - Francis Poulenc & Paul Smith (2:51)
  10. 10 In dulci jubilo (Piæ Cantiones) - Hieronymus Praetorius & Christmas Traditional (2:46)
  11. 11 Bethlehem Down, carol for chorus & organ - Peter Warlock & Paul Smith (4:34)
  12. 12 There Is No Rose of Such Virtue (English) - Anonymous & Christmas Traditional (3:25)
  13. 13 Nesciens Mater Virgo Virum, for 8 voices - Jean Mouton & Paul Smith (5:12)
  14. 14 The Three Kings - Peter Cornelius & Paul Smith (2:27)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Voces8 Primary Artist
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