WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Christmas Joy Vol 3 /Poulter, Chester Cathedral Choir, Et Al


Release Date: 10/26/1999 
Label:  Priory Records   Catalog #: 651   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalRalph Vaughan WilliamsFelix MendelssohnStanley Vann,   ... 
Performer:  Edward Wellman
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $19.98
CD:  $16.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here's another first class Christmas disc in Priory's four-volume Christmas Joy series, each of which features a different English cathedral choir. (For a review of Vol. 4, type Q4346 in Search Reviews.) Music at Chester Cathedral goes back many hundreds of years, and we must assume that with early choirmasters such as Robert Whyte and Thomas Bateson today's high standard of repertoire and performance is part of a deep and revered tradition. Handel famously visited the town of Chester for several days on his way to Ireland in 1741, and it was here that the illustrious story of the composer's encounter with a singer, who was assisting in reading through some of Handel's yet to be performed Messiah, originated: "I thought you told me Read more that you could sing at sight," yelled a furious Handel at the poor, fumbling chorister. "And so I can," he replied, "but not at first sight!".

Anyway, this is a wonderful Christmas program, a pleasing mix of familiar carols and songs--Gabriel's Message; Of the Father's heart begotten (arr. Willcocks); Jesus Christ the Apple Tree; O little town of Bethlehem; Hark! The herald Angels sing; See amid the winter's snow--along with some of today's more compelling anthems--Britten's Hymn to the Virgin; Tavener's The Lamb; Cornelius' The Three Kings; Hadley's I sing of a maiden--and several new and/or unfamiliar pieces. Of these latter, most notable are Stanley Vann's A Maiden most gentle (with its beautifully sung treble solo), Paul Wright's What can I give him? (a different and very effective take on the oft-used Rossetti text), and Michael Head's The little road to Bethlehem (with its lovely melody and another fine treble solo). Britten makes a second appearance with his sweet (and sublimely performed) unison song A New Year Carol, and organist Edward Wellman adds a couple of rousing solos of his own--Bach's In dulci jubilo and Daquin's Noël Grand Jeu et Duo (enhanced with some snazzy registrations!). The choir has a uniformly warm, round ensemble tone quality, with accurate, pure-voiced trebles and a generally clear, well-articulated delivery that allows you to distinguish words yet fully appreciate the group's collective blend. The recorded sound is near-ideal, providing resonant cathedral ambience with no loss of choral detail. I wish that the choir hadn't sped quite so determinedly through a few of the pieces--Bach's Zion hears the watchmen's voices, Poston's Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, and Goss' hymn See amid the winter's snow feel hurried and show some slight ensemble imprecision, which is only mentionable because this choir is otherwise so marvelously together! Highly recommended.
--David Vernier Read less

Works on This Recording

1. O come, O come Emmanuel by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 0 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
2. A maiden most gentle by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Andrew Carter 
3. Gabriel's message by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Written: Basque Provinces 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Edgar Pettman 
4. English Hymnal: O little town of Bethlehem by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Thomas Armstrong 
5. Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks 
6. Virgin-born we bow before thee by Stanley Vann
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
7. Of the Father's love begotten by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks 
8. O Sapientia by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: English 
9. Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930/1934; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is performed in English and Latin. 
10. Cherry Tree Carol by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks 
11. Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elisabeth Poston
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
12. What can I give him? by Paul Leddington Wright
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
13. I sing of a maiden by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: English 
14. O Oriens by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 0 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: English 
15. The Little Road to Bethlehem by Michael Head
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: English 
16. See amid the winter's snow by John Goss
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks 
17. A New Year Carol by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
18. Nouveau livre de noëls (12), Op. 2: no 10, Noël grand-jeu et duo, Quand Dieu naquit à Noël by Louis-Claude Daquin
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1740; France 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
19. In dulci jubilo, BWV 729 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
20. A grateful heart by Mary Plumstead
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: English 
21. The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; England 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
22. Weihnachtslieder (6), Op. 8: no 3, Die Könige by Peter Cornelius
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856/1870; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Ivor Atkins 
23. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140: no 4, Zion hört die Wächter singen, das Herz tut in ihr by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Edward Wellman (Organ)
Conductor:  David Poulter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of Chester Cathedral
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Chester Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: John Rutter 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook