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Celebration - Christmas Fanfares & Carols / Bbc Welsh Chorus


Release Date: 12/02/1992 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 5310   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John Francis WadeTraditionalElisabeth PostonWilliam Mathias,   ... 
Performer:  Mark WalkerHuw Tregelles WilliamsChris Stock
Conductor:  John Hugh ThomasLt. Col. P. Hannam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh ChorusFanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh Guard
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A lovely collection.

This is a lovely collection of music and readings for Christmas, making a welcome re-appearance. There are seven readings, which, within the context of the recording, is just about right for ultimately it is the music for which you will be buying this disk. I must make comment that Aled Jones was a very good choice for the reader, for his easy-going, pleasant, delivery is unobtrusive, but yet manages to convey the various moods of the pieces he reads. Especially delightful, and I suspect that he relished it, too, is his performance of the short extract from Dylan Thomas’s Memories of Christmas - absolutely delicious!

I particularly liked the mixture of musics, arrangements of
Read more well-known carols, new compositions and Mendelssohn’s great Hark! the Herald Angels Sing to finish. It can’t have been easy to choose from the wealth of superb Welsh composers and whittle the choice down to what we have here, but it is a sensible choice. You couldn’t have a Welsh Christmas without a Carol from William Mathias, a composer who really knew how to write for choir. Bell Carol was new to me, and what a find! With a discreet touch of glockenspiel, his usual bouncy rhythms and joyous shouts of Alleluia! this is a real winner. Hoddinott’s Fendigaid Nos ( The Wondrous Night) is a more serious work, but it stands as a perfect foil for the jaunty Mathias, which precedes it and the restrained beauty of Howells’s justly famous Here is the Little Door. A nice juxtaposition.

John Gardner’s rollicking Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day is most welcome for its off-beat approach to such well known words - I wish someone would record his When Christ was born, an equally enjoyable Carol. Edward Arthur’s Tua Bethlem Dref ( Towards Bethlehem) is a nice example of an older school of composition - just as Malcolm Sargent’s arrangements show an older approach to this art; would anyone, today, even consider setting the words “An’ dey say dat his name was Jesus”?. Geraint Lewis’s Tawel Nos ( Silent Night) is a gorgeous meditation.

There’s so much to enjoy here and the performances are very good, the chorus receives fine support from organist Huw Tregelles Williams. The small contribution from the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh Guards is thrilling. The recording is a trifle distant, you need to turn the volume up to get a good, all-round, sound, but the balance is excellent, and the climaxes really bloom.

One little moan. As this is a re-issue Nimbus has simply reprinted the original booklet. Although the notes, by Geraint Lewis, were good in 1991 when this disk first appeared, Mathias and Hoddinott were then very much with us; both have subsequently passed. Unfortunately, their dates have not been changed and this minor oversight just puts a slight blot on an otherwise enjoyable issue.

-- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International  
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Works on This Recording

1.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Performer:  Mark Walker (Percussion), Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ), Chris Stock (Percussion)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas,  Lt. Col. P. Hannam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus,  Fanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh Guard
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Willcocks 
2.
Mary had a baby by Traditional
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Malcolm Sargent 
3.
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elisabeth Poston
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
The first nowell by Traditional
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Willcocks 
5.
Bell Carol by William Mathias
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ), Mark Walker (Percussion), Chris Stock (Percussion)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
Fengigaid Nos by Alun Hoddinott
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Welsh 
Notes: Welsh lyrics by Llwelyn Huws 
7.
Carol-Anthems (3) for Chorus: no 1, Here is the little door by Herbert Howells
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1920; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Once in Royal David's City by Henry John Gauntlett
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Willcocks 
9.
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy by Traditional
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Malcolm Sargent 
10.
Tua Bethlem Dref by Edward Arthur
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Welsh 
Notes: Welsh lyrics by Wil Ifan 
11.
Tawel Nos by Geraint Lewis
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Welsh 
Notes: Welsh lyrics adapted from Stille Nacht by Saunders Lewis 
12.
O little town of Bethlehem by Henry Walford Davies
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: English 
13.
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, Op. 75 no 2 by John Gardner
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ), Mark Walker (Percussion), Chris Stock (Percussion)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: English 
14.
Sweet Was The Song by William Mathias
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
15.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen by Traditional
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas,  Lt. Col. P. Hannam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus,  Fanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh Guard
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Willcocks 
16.
Still, still, still by Traditional
Performer:  Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Arranged: Philip Ledger 
17.
Ar Fore Dydd Nadolig by Traditional
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: Welsh 
Notes: Traditional Welsh carol arranged by John Hugh Thomas 
18.
Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Mark Walker (Percussion), Huw Tregelles Williams (Organ), Chris Stock (Percussion)
Conductor:  John Hugh Thomas,  Lt. Col. P. Hannam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Chorus,  Fanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh Guard
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Willcocks 

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