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While Shepherds Watched - Christmas Music / Holman, Psalmody


Release Date: 11/08/1996 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 66924   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Michael BeeslyAnonymousJohn Christopher SmithPieter Hellendaal,   ... 
Performer:  Timothy Roberts
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of InstrumentsPsalmody
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Much of what we now accept as traditional Christmas music comes from relatively recent times. Most of the rest is derived from Medieval and Renaissance sources. This recording fills in some important gaps in our Christmas musical heritage, offering many of the tunes and texts from the "enormous forgotten repertory" that served English parish churches in the 18th and early 19th centuries. In many cases, the texts are familiar--"While shepherds watched. . .", "Hark! the herald angels sing"--but the tunes are quite different; in other cases, familiar tunes are set to different words. The point is, this music was the soul of an enduring Christmas tradition that emerged following the Restoration in England and was an integral part of the annual Read more celebrations in countless parish churches that were both physically distant and stylistically removed from the cities and their more formal cathedral music customs. Here, we're treated to lively, faithful, straightforward interpretations that capture the spontaneity of congregational singing while presenting the highly singable tunes and appealing arrangements with a welcome refinement that encourages repeated listening. Highlights also include some instrumental selections, such as the lovely Pastorale for strings, harpsichord, and organ by Pieter Hellendaal and the nifty little Rondo on "God rest you merry, gentlemen" for piano solo by Samuel Wesley. Every Christmas music collection should have this.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by Michael Beesly
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; England 
Language: English 
2.
Let an anthem of praise by Anonymous
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Written: England 
Notes: Arranged: Caleb Ashworth (c. 1762) 
3.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by John Christopher Smith
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
Notes: Arranged: John Arnold (c. 1765) 
4.
Concerti grossi (6), Op. 3: no 4 - Pastorale by Pieter Hellendaal
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Baroque 
5.
Hark! how all the welkin rings by Anonymous
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Written: England 
Notes: Arranged: Thomas Butts (c. 1767) 
6.
Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber by Anonymous
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Written: England 
Notes: Arranged: Thomas Butts (c. 1767) 
7.
As shepherds watched their fleecy care by Joseph Key
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1785; England 
8.
Hark! the herald angels sing by Samuel Arnold
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1791; England 
9.
Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63: See the conqu'ring hero comes by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747; London, England 
Notes: Arranged: Edward Miller (as a setting of "Hark! the herald angels sing") 
10.
There were shepherds abiding in the field by Thomas Jarman
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1830; London, England 
11.
Rondo on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by Samuel Wesley
Performer:  Timothy Roberts (Organ)
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1810; England 
12.
Suite for Harpsichord in E major, HWV 430: no 4, Air and Variations "The Harmonious Blacksmith" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Timothy Roberts (Organ)
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
Notes: Arranged: Thomas Taylor (as "Hymning seraphs wake the morning") 
13.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by John Foster
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1820; London, England 
14.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by Thomas [18th c.] Clark
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1805; England 
15.
Angels from the realm of glory by William Matthews
Performer:  Timothy Roberts (Organ)
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Psalmody
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1830; England 

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