WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Oikan Ayns Bethlehem / Hall, Bergeron, La Nef


Release Date: 09/05/2006 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 22365   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalJohn PlayfordAndrew Gant
Performer:  Sylvain BergeronMeredith Hall
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Every year about this time a Christmas recording appears among the several early arrivals that claims the kind of attention that will keep it near the CD player for the duration of the holidays. The idea of a Celtic-themed Christmas program certainly isn't new, but this one offers the especially happy combination of soprano Meredith Hall with the crack early-music instrumental ensemble La Nef--and the selections are intelligently chosen, interestingly varied, and thoughtfully organized.


The mix of vocal and purely instrumental tracks includes the opening title song, a starkly beautiful, plaintive tune whose words ask us "to keep with pure hearts" as we remember "the infant in Bethlehem". Later comes
Read more a rendition of the Coventry Carol that cleverly invokes the style of an ancient funeral procession, followed by a delightful smattering of dances (a jig, a couple of reels) and some lullabies. We also hear the traditional words to What Child is This? sung to the tune of My Lagan Love.


Hall's clear, appealingly vibrant soprano ably captures the different moods and "flavors" of each song, from contemplative, darker, or sweeter, to light, lively, and bright. Yes, I suppose a little more edge or timbral complexity would have given the interpretations just that much more character, but Hall is a very fine singer who easily draws and holds our attention. And thankfully she doesn't overdo the dialects.


Her instrumental partners are very experienced practitioners of this kind of music; they know about style, and they're very adept at both producing idiomatic arrangements and making transitions that keep the music flowing logically and smoothly from track to track. There are one or two selections I would have excluded ("A cogie of ale" isn't quite up to the quality of most of the rest of the material), and the track and song listings are somewhat discombobulated, but in all, this is a smart and expertly performed Christmas program that really does deserve some serious attention during your holiday festivities. [10/20/2006]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Oikans ayns Bethlehem by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Written: Isle of Man 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
2.
The Christ Child's Lullaby by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Written: Scotland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Gaelic 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/25/2005) 
3.
Drive the cold winter away by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
4.
The English Dancing Master: Beggar boy by John Playford
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1651; England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
5.
Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
6.
Remember Thou, o Man by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
7.
The darkest midnight in December by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Written: Ireland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
8.
What Child is this? by Andrew Gant
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991/2007 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
9.
The Gloucester Wassail Song by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
10.
Duan nollaig by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Scotland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Gaelic 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
11.
The English Dancing Master: Granny's Delight by John Playford
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1665; England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
12.
Balulalow by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Written: Scotland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
13.
Wat ye what I got late yestreen by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: 1715; Scotland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
14.
The seven rejoices of Mary by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Ireland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
15.
Port and Toys by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arrangers: Allan Alexander; Sylvain Bergeron.
Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
16.
Noëls bretons by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Brittany (Bretagne), 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
17.
Ushag Veg Ruy by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Isle of Man 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Gaelic 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
18.
Welsh carol by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Wales 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
19.
Scottish reel by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Scotland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 0 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
20.
Please to see the king by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute), Meredith Hall (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
21.
The Wren Song by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
22.
Christmas in Kinsale by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 0 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
23.
Christmas Eve by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
24.
A cogie of ale and a pickle ait meal by Traditional
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Period: Classical 
Written: Scotland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 
25.
Wexford Carol by Traditional
Performer:  Meredith Hall (Soprano), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
Written: Ireland 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Saint-Augustin, Québec, Canada (04/23/2005 - 04/26/2005) 

Sound Samples

Oikan Ayns Bethlehem
Duan Nollaig
Taladh Chriosta
The English Dance Master, Part I: Drive the cold winter away
The English Dance Master, Part I: The Beggar Boy
The English Dance Master, Part I: Granny's Delight
Ballulalow
The Coventry Carol: Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child
Remember, O thou man
Wat ye what I got late yestreen
The Darkest Midnight in December
The Seven Rejoices of Mary
Port and Toys
Noels bretons
What Child is This?
Usheg Veg Ruy
Welsh Carol
Scottish Reel
Gloucestershire Wassail
Please to See the King
The Wren Song
Christmas in Kinsale
Christmas Eve Reel
A cogie of ale and a pickle ait meal
The Wexford Carol

Customer Reviews

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




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In