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Song of the Nativity
     

Song of the Nativity

by The Sixteen
 
Give The Sixteen and their director Harry Christophers credit: with the choir's satisfying bright, yet rounded, sound, and an abundance of well-loved Christmas season repertory on hand, it would be hard to imagine their not making a Christmas album that people want to buy, even if they pretty much phoned it in. And they have not done that in the least: despite

Overview

Give The Sixteen and their director Harry Christophers credit: with the choir's satisfying bright, yet rounded, sound, and an abundance of well-loved Christmas season repertory on hand, it would be hard to imagine their not making a Christmas album that people want to buy, even if they pretty much phoned it in. And they have not done that in the least: despite its generic title, Song of the Nativity is a fresh take on the holiday release with a unique structure. The program alternates traditional carols -- mostly monophonic, with a bit of simple traditional, multi-part writing in some -- with pieces from the contemporary tonal choral school. Thus there are none of the Renaissance choral pieces that are standard on such releases. The contemporary works are mostly English, but the program opens with the striking "O magnum mysterium" of the American Morten Lauridsen, a work inspired not by scripture, but by the painting Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose by Francisco Zurbarán (1598-1664). This combination plays to the strengths of The Sixteen, with their capacity for a clean yet reverential tone. The overall effect is of a tableau of paintings, some simple and folk-like, some richly chromatic, with the traditional carols appearing as moments of utter clarity. The contrast diminishes toward the end of the program, with favorites by Rutter, his follower Cecilia McDowall, and Bob Chilcott, but sample the Lauridsen or the rather austere "Adam lay ybounden" by Howard Skempton for the full effect. A strong entry in the holiday season competition for 2016 and beyond.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2016
Label:
Coro
UPC:
0828021614620
catalogNumber:
16146
Rank:
29521

Tracks

  1. A Child Is Born in Bethlehem (The Dutch Carol)
  2. There is a flower
  3. The Shepherd's Carol, for chorus
  4. Come All You Worthy Gentlemen
  5. Adam Lay Y-Bounden, carol
  6. How Far Is It to Bethlehem?, carol
  7. Now may we singen, carol for chorus
  8. O Little Town of Bethlehem, carol
  9. A Gallery Carol
  10. Bethlehem Down, carol for chorus & organ
  11. The Babe of Bethlehem
  12. O Magnum Mysterium, for chorus

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sixteen   Primary Artist

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