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Hodie: Advent To Christmas

Williams / Britten / Brahms / Worcester Cathedral
Release Date: 10/12/2010 
Label:  Regent   Catalog #: 330   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsBenjamin BrittenJohannes BrahmsSir David Willcocks,   ... 
Performer:  Joanne JefferisGeorge CastleBen CooperCatherine White,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HODIE: Advent to Christmas Day Stephen Shellard, cond; Worcester Cathedral Chamber Ch REGENT REGCD330 (75:40 Text and Translation)


VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on Christmas Carols. BRITTEN A Ceremony of Carols. BRAHMS Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen. PRAETORIUS/BRAHMS Rose Read more Carol. ANON Resonemus Laudibus. Away in a Manger. POSTON Jesus Christ the Apple Tree. GOLDSCHMIDT A Tender Shoot. KINGS Carol. O Tree! WADE O Come, All Ye Faithful. RÜTTI I Wonder as I Wander. MENDELSSOHN Hark! The Herald Angels Sing


When a CD of Christmas music arrives for review only days before Christmas, the review is submitted for a February 1 deadline for publication in the May/June issue of Fanfare— hence a review of Christmas music appearing in midsummer. Despite the delay, this disc immediately commends itself for a rather surprising reason: So far as I can tell after extensive combing of the Internet, it is the only disc that pairs two holiday mainstays from the 20th century, the Vaughan Williams Fantasia and the Britten Ceremony . Why this seemingly obvious coupling has not occurred before is a mystery to me. Fortunately the performances of those two works, and also of the various filler pieces, are all quite fine; the choir sings with sweet tone and accurate ensemble and intonation, and the occasional instrumental and vocal soloists all execute their parts quite ably. Though one might argue that some other individual recording of each piece is superior, it’s hard to beat the convenience of getting the two in tandem. For what it’s worth, this is the premiere recording of the arrangement of the Rose Carol of recently deceased organist Harrison Oxley, the only current recording of the two works by Steven Kings, and one of only two recordings in print of the Rütti; all the other works have multiple versions available. The recorded sound is clear, crisp, and somewhat distant, but appropriately so as it provides exactly the aural perspective that a listener sitting in the cathedral nave would have of a choir up in the chancel. Full texts are provided. Regent has a winning entry here, and this is warmly recommended as a year-end holiday stocking stuffer.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1. Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), George Castle (Organ), Ben Cooper (),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Length: 11 Minutes 50 Secs. 
2. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), George Castle (Organ), Ben Cooper (),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Length: 20 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3. Chorale Preludes (11) for Organ, Op. 122: no 8, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), George Castle (Organ), Ben Cooper (),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4. Resonemus laudibus, for baritone, chorus, cello, harp & organ by Sir David Willcocks
Performer:  George Castle (Organ), Catherine White (Harp), Ben Cooper (),
Joanne Jefferis (Cello)
Period: Modern 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
5. Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elisabeth Poston
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), George Castle (Organ), Ben Cooper (),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
6. Musae Sioniae: Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Catherine White (Harp), Ben Cooper (), Joanne Jefferis (Cello),
George Castle (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1609; Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 51 Secs. 
7. A Tender Shoot, for chorus by Otto Goldschmidt
Performer:  George Castle (Organ), Ben Cooper (), Catherine White (Harp),
Joanne Jefferis (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
8. Carol for chorus by Steven Kings
Performer:  Catherine White (Harp), Ben Cooper (), Ben Cooper (Piano),
Joanne Jefferis (Cello)
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
9. O Tree!, for chorus by Steven Kings
Performer:  Ben Cooper (Piano), Joanne Jefferis (Cello), Catherine White (Harp),
Ben Cooper ()
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
10. Away in a manger by William J. Kirkpatrick
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), Ben Cooper (), George Castle (Organ),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
11. I Wonder as I Wander, for choir & organ by Carl Rütti
Performer:  Ben Cooper (), George Castle (Organ), Joanne Jefferis (Cello),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
12. Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), Ben Cooper (), Catherine White (Harp),
Stephen Shellard (Descant), George Castle (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
13. Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Performer:  Joanne Jefferis (Cello), Ben Cooper (), George Castle (Organ),
Catherine White (Harp)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Length: 6 Minutes 12 Secs. 

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