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The Best Carols in the World... Ever!


Release Date: 10/04/2005 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 66923   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnTraditionalWilliam BillingsHenry John Gauntlett,   ... 
Performer:  Ian HareFrancis GrierJeremy BlandfordJohn [classical organ] Wells,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir David WillcocksSir Philip LedgerAndrew ParrottJohn Rutter,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Jones Brass EnsembleCambridge King's College ChoirBach Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 33 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews




Here are two and a half hours of classic, traditional Christmas carols. They are all here performed in exquisite English style by some of the finest British Ensembles of all time. Break out the egg nog, light the yule log, deck the halls, and enjoy!



Here are two and a half hours of classic, traditional Christmas carols. They are all here performed in exquisite English style by some of the finest British Ensembles of all time. Break out the egg nog, light the yule log, deck the halls, and enjoy! Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ian Hare (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
2.
I saw three ships by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Written: England 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
3.
The first nowell by Traditional
Performer:  Francis Grier (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arrangers: Sir Philip Ledger; John Stainer. 
4.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
5.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1592; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
6.
A virgin unspotted by William Billings
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Once in Royal David's City by Henry John Gauntlett
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
8.
In the bleak mid-winter by Harold Edwin Darke
Performer:  John [classical organ] Wells (Organ), Stephen Varcoe (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
It came upon the midnight clear by Richard Storrs Willis
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Period: Romantic 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Gaudete: In dulci jubilo by Traditional
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
11.
English Hymnal: O little town of Bethlehem by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Francis Grier (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Philip Ledger. 
12.
Past three o'clock by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Written: 16th Century; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: George Ratcliffe Woodward. 
13.
Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Performer:  Karen Lupton (Soprano), Katherine Blake (Mezzo Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mediaeval Baebes
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Katherine Blake. 
14.
Away in a manger by William James Kirkpatrick
Performer:  Sir George Thalben-Ball (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir George Thalben-Ball
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Temple Church Choir
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir George Thalben-Ball. 
15.
Nativity Carol by John Rutter
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford ()
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
16.
Piae Cantiones: Unto us is born a Son by Anonymous
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1582; Sweden 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Rudolph Palmer. 
17.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Performer:  Stephen Varcoe (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
18.
Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Dale Wood.
This selection is based on the tune "Branle l'officiel" from Thoinot
Arbeau's "Orchésographie". 
19.
We wish you a merry Christmas by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Written: England 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Arthur Warrell. 
20.
The Lord at first did Adam make by Traditional
Performer:  John [classical organ] Wells (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
21.
Up! Good Christian folk, and listen by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: George Ratcliffe Woodward. 
22.
Infant holy, infant lowly by Traditional
Performer:  Simon Vaughan (Baritone), Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Written: Poland 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
23.
O Jesulein süss, O Jesulein mild, BWV 493 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1736; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: English 
24.
O come, O come Emmanuel by Traditional
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Composer: Thomas Helmore. 
25.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Traditional
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
26.
Good King Wenceslas by Traditional
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Stainer. 
27.
Cherry Tree Carol by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
28.
Joy to the World by Lowell Mason
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
29.
Here we come a-wassailing by Traditional
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Written: England 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
30.
See amid the winter's snow by John Goss
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
31.
Piae Cantiones: Gaudete, gaudete by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mediaeval Baebes
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1582; Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arrangers: Katherine Blake; Ruth Galloway. 
32.
The Holly and the Ivy by Traditional
Performer:  Ian Hare (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Henry Walford Davies. 
33.
We've been awhile a-wandering by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Ralph Vaughan Williams. 
34.
Shepherd's Pipe Carol by John Rutter
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
35.
Masters in this hall by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Written: France 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
36.
The Babe of Bethlehem by Edmund Walters
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
37.
Carol-Anthems (3) for Chorus: no 2, A spotless rose by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Gareth Morrell (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1920; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
38.
Angel Tidings by John Rutter
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
39.
When an angel host entuned by Reginald Jacques
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Written: by 1961; London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
40.
As with gladness men of old by Conrad Kocher
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: William Henry Monk. 
41.
The Coming of our King by Traditional
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Written: Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
42.
Christ was born on Christmas Day by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir George Thalben-Ball
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Temple Church Choir
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Henry Walford Davies. 
43.
Christmas Carol by Zoltán Kodály
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Hungary 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Zoltán Kodály. 
44.
Sans Day Carol by Traditional
Performer:  Jeremy Blandford (Organ)
Conductor:  John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Clare College Orchestra
Written: Cornwall, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
45.
Gabriel's message by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir
Written: Basque Provinces 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Edgar Pettman. 
46.
Chester Carol by Traditional
Performer:  Robert Tear (Tenor), Mair Jones (Harp)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1425 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Rutland Boughton. 
47.
Rocking by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Jacques Orchestra
Written: Czech Republic 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
48.
Boston by William Billings
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770/1778; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
49.
Angels from the realms of glory by Traditional
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Written: France 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Dale Wood. 
50.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Performer:  Ian Hare (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks. 
51.
Adam lay ybounden by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mediaeval Baebes
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Katherine Blake. 
52.
We three kings by John Henry Hopkins Jr.
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Huddersfield Choral Society
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Hark! the herald angels sing (tune & harmony adapted W. H. Cummings; brass fanfare & accomp. and descant by Willcocks) (1985 Digital Remaster)
I saw three ships (1993 Digital Remaster)
The First Nowell (1985 Digital Remaster)
God rest you merry, gentlemen (1993 Digital Remaster)
While shepherds watched their flocks by night (1993 Digital Remaster)
A Virgin Unspotted
Once in Royal David's City (1988 Digital Remaster)
In the bleak midwinter (1991 Digital Remaster)
It came upon the midnight clear (wrds. E. H. Sears, traditional English tune adapted by A. Sullivan, arr. C. Roberts)
In dulci jubilo (arr. Rutter) (1988 Digital Remaster)
O little town of Bethlehem (v.3 arr. Ledger) (1985 Digital Remaster)
Past three a-clock (1993 Digital Remaster)
The Coventry Carol
Away in a manger (arr. Thalben-Ball) (1998 Digital Remaster)
Nativity Carol (1988 Digital Remaster)
Unto us is born a son (words & music from Piae Cantiones, 1584; wds trans. G. R. Woodward, tune arr. G. Palmer)
Silent Night (wrds. Joseph Mohr, trans. & arr. Willcocks) (1991 Digital Remaster)
Ding dong! merrily on high (1993 Digital Remaster)
We wish you a merry Christmas (1998 Digital Remaster)
The Lord at first did Adam make (1991 Digital Remaster)
Up! good Christen folk, and listen (1993 Digital Remaster)
Infant holy, infant lowly (1988 Digital Remaster)
O little one sweet BWV493 (1993 Digital Remaster)
O come, O come Emmanuel (tune from 15th-century Fr. processional, arr. T. Helmore; wds trans. J. M. Neale)
The Twelve Days of Christmas (melody for 'Five gold rings' added by Frederic Austin, arr. Rutter) (1988 Digital Remaster)
Good King Wenceslas (tune from Piae Cantiones, wrds. J. M. Neale, arr. John Stainer)
Cherry Tree Carol (Traditional English carol, arr. Willcocks) (1991 Digital Remaster)
Joy to the world!
Here we come a-wassailing (arr. Rutter) (1988 Digital Remaster)
See amid the winter's snow
Gaudete
The Holly and the Ivy (1985 Digital Remaster)
Yorkshire Wassail Song (We've been awhile a-wandering)
We three kings of Orient are
Shepherd's Pipe Carol (1988 Digital Remaster)
Masters In This Hall (1993 Digital Remaster)
The Babe of Bethlehem (Ye nations all, on you I call)
A Spotless Rose (1985 Digital Remaster)
Angel Tidings (Traditional Moravian carol, arr. Rutter) (1988 Digital Remaster)
When an angel host entuned (1993 Digital Remaster)
As with gladness men of old (from chorale Treuer Heiland, adapted W. H. Monk)
Adam Lay Ibounden
The Coming of our King (Traditional Polish carol, arr. Rutter) (1988 Digital Remaster)
Christ was born on Christmas Day (Traditional, arr. for organ by Walford Davies) (1998 Digital Remaster)
A Christmas Carol (1993 Digital Remaster)
Sans Day Carol, 'Now the holly bears a berry' (Traditional English Carol, arr. Rutter) (1988 Digital Remaster)
Gabriel's Message (1993 Digital Remaster)
The Chester Carol, 'Maker of the Heavens Fair' (arr. Boughton) (1998 Digital Remaster)
Rocking (1993 Digital Remaster)
Methinks I see an heav'nly host
Angels from the realms of glory (arr. Charles Wood)
O come, all ye faithful (harm. English Hymnal; brass fanfare & accomp., descant and last v. by Willcocks) (1985 Digital Remaster)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  7 Customer Reviews )
 A Holiday Delight December 18, 2013 By Joseph  Erdeljac (West Chester, PA) See All My Reviews "Here we have over 2 and a half hours of Christmas and Holiday music, some familiar and some not so familiar, that will delight everyone. It is all performed in elegant style by numerous excellent and outstanding performers and groups. Just put it on and revel in the Spirit of the Season." Report Abuse
 Beautiful sound track for your Christmas December 17, 2013 By susan norman (houston, TX) See All My Reviews "Love it. It has been the backgrounds music to all my holiday decorating and cooking. Beautiful recordings of Christmas favorites; made me merry even when putting the dreaded lights on the tree." Report Abuse
 Exquisite. January 15, 2013 By Carolyn Wilson (Temora, N.S.W.) See All My Reviews "This was for a friend as a Christmas gift, hence I couldn't listen to it myself, (obviously)! However, her comment was "exquisite."" Report Abuse
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