James Whitbourn: Carolae - Music for Christmas

James Whitbourn: Carolae - Music for Christmas

by Westminster Williamson Voices

CD

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2016
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313371570
catalogNumber: 8573715
Rank: 169963

Tracks

  1. The Magi's Dream, for chorus & organ
  2. Winter's Wait, for chorus & organ
  3. Missa Carolae, for chorus
  4. I wonder as I wander, for chorus
  5. Veni et illumina, for chorus, brass ensemble & percussion
  6. Toccata on Vom Himmel Hoch, for organ
  7. A Great and Mighty Wonder, for chorus (after Praetorius)
  8. Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Collegium regale), for chorus & organ
  9. Of one that is so fair and bright, for chorus
  10. Coventry Carol, for chorus & handbell choir

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James Whitbourn: Carolae - Music for Christmas 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
RGraves321 More than 1 year ago
I usually don't like choral works that try to incorporate traditional Christmas carols. My issue is that the original tune usually sounds like it's been shoehorned into a setting without becoming a part of it. Not so with James Whitbourn's "Missa Carolae." Yes, the recognizable tunes are there -- "Patapan," "God rest ye merry gentlemen," "In Dulci Jubilo" and so on -- and they're recognizable when they appear. But these carols are part of a larger musical tapestry. Whitbourn takes his source material and blends it seamlessly together, letting his original contributions flow from the structures and motifs of the carols themselves. To my ears, it makes these overly-familiar carols sound fresh again. That freshness extends to Whitbourn's original choral works, some of which are also included on this release. These are richly textured, robust works that should appeal to both the casual listener (as most parishioners are) or the classical devotee who wants music of substance and depth. The Westminster Williamson Voices is a large choir, so there's a certain softness to their sound. But the ensemble has a warm, creamy blend that's well-suited to the music. And their articulation is virtually flawless. I don't need yet another by-the-numbers setting of Christmas standards. When I auditioned "Carolae, Music for Christmas," I realized this was a disc I needed.