Carols of Vaughan Williams

Carols of Vaughan Williams

by Owain Arwel HughesOwain Arwel Hughes


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Listeners who love the sound and mood of the most traditional Christmas carols and hymns should be delighted with this collection of choral arrangements made by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The majority of the pieces are traditional English carols, many of which the composer collected himself as part of his research on folk song. For several of the carols where only a text survives, he wrote the melody. A few of the selections may be familiar to American audiences and a few more to fans of English choral music, but by and large these carols will be obscure to general audiences. Their tone tends to be gently contemplative rather than exuberantly celebratory; they're more similar to "Away in a Manger" than "Joy to the World."" Vaughan Williams' intent was to create music that could be sung by the average church congregation or church choir, so the arrangements are simple and traditional, with organ accompaniment. Some are arranged for unison singing, but most are in four parts. The Cardiff Festival Choir, led by Owain Arwel Hughes and accompanied by organist Robert Court, sings with lovely, direct tone and with restraint, not trying to make more of these simple works than is appropriate. Griffin's sound is clean and nicely ambient. The CD should appeal especially to fans of English hymnody.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/09/2010
Label: Griffin
UPC: 5027822407225
catalogNumber: 4072
Rank: 10174


  1. On Christmas Night, carol for chorus or voice & piano ("Sussex Carol"; Traditional English Carols No. 2)
  2. And All in the Morning ("On Christmas Day"), carol for chorus or voice & piano (Traditional English Carols No. 1)
  3. The truth sent from above, carol for chorus or voice & piano (Traditional English Carols No. 6)
  4. Christmas Hymn ("Now Blessed by Thou, Christ Jesu"), for baritone or tenor, chorus & orchestra in F major (Choral Hymns No. 2)
  5. Behold the great Creator makes, hymn ("This Endris Nyght")
  6. Wither's Rocking Hymn ("Sweet baby, sleep! What ails my dear?"), carol for chorus
  7. The Golden Carol ("Now is Christèmas y-come"), carol for chorus
  8. How Far Is It to Bethlehem? (Children's Song of the Nativity) (Tune: Stowey) (English)
  9. The Miraculous Harvest, carol for chorus or voice & piano (Traditional Carols from Herefordshire No. 10)
  10. Wassail Song ("Wassail, wassail, all over the town"), carol for chorus ("Gloucestershire Wassail")
  11. O Little Town of Bethlehem, carol (arr. from English traditional, "Forest Green")
  12. Blake's Cradle Song ("Sweet dreams, form a shade o'er my lovely infant's head"), carol for chorus
  13. The Salutation Carol
  14. The Holy Well, carol for chorus or voice & piano (Traditional Carols from Herefordshire No. 1 & No. 2; 2 versions)
  15. Song of the Crib
  16. Snow in the Street ("From far away we come to you"), carol for chorus
  17. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night (unspecified tune)
  18. Hereford Carol, for choir

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