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Karolju - Christmas Music From Rouse, Lutoslawski, Rodrigo


Release Date: 11/06/2007 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 711561   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joaquin RodrigoChristopher RouseWitold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia DoyleAnna Stéphany
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia ChorusBBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ROUSE Karolju. LUTOS?AWSKI Polish Christmas Carols. 1 RODRIGO Retablo de Navidad 2 David Zinman, cond; Julia Doyle (sop); 1 Anna Stephany (mez); 2 Philharmonia Ch (Deborah Miles-Johnson, dir); BBC SO RCA 711561 (67:14)

Read more /> Not being personally into the religiosity of Christmas, I nevertheless love the communal and festive spirit of the season, and yes, I listen to select Christmas music, my favorites in the classical sphere being Messiah, The Nutcracker , Kathleen Battle’s album with Christopher Parkening, and the Mediaeval Christmas music recorded eons ago by the New York Pro Musica.


This album caught me completely by surprise. Not only is the music festive and joyously performed, it’s both attractive and creative. Undoubtedly the greatest charm on this disc comes from Christopher Rouse’s Karolju , commissioned by Zinman when he was music director of the Baltimore Symphony. Karolju , possibly Rouse’s most tonal work, has just enough piquant harmonic shifts to make it more interesting than the usual string of carols that inspired him as a boy. The lyrics aren’t in the booklet, however, because Rouse—who doesn’t know any of the languages used (Latin, Swedish, French, Spanish, Russian, Czech, German, and Italian)—simply used a few “Christmassy” phrases that “are not intelligibly translatable for long periods of time.” But it’s still delightful strictly as music, effervescent and engaging. I really loved it.


Also quite beautiful, and with more intelligible texts, are 17 of Lutos?awski’s 20 Polish Christmas Carols. Written with piano accompaniment in 1946 and scored for orchestra by the composer in 1985, they are largely reflective pieces sung with obvious love and charm by the Philharmonia Chorus. Soprano Julia Doyle, stepping out of the chorus, is simply enchanting. Yet perhaps it is only my personal prejudice that I feel it an error to end the program with the even quieter Retablo de Navidad of Rodrigo. Though it, too, is beautifully performed, something of a return to Karolku ’s energy would have been welcome.


David Zinman is my favorite of modern “objectivist” conductors. Though I sometimes feel that he misses just a touch of spontaneity in his performances, they are never cold or uninteresting; he understands color, phrasing, and (as Toscanini once said) “what to do between the pp here and the ff there.” This disc is yet another addition to a solid and sometimes inspiring recorded legacy. If you have zero interest in Christmas music, by all means pass it up, but just consider: it’s performed here by an American Jewish conductor leading a mostly Anglican British orchestra and choir! Recorded at the Watford Colosseum in Hertfordshire, the sound is warm and sumptuous, perhaps lacking a bit of “edge” in the upper voices and strings but crystal-clear nonetheless.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Karolju by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; USA 
2.
Polish Christmas Carols (20) by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: David Zinman has selected 17 of the 20 Polish Christmas Carols by Witold Lutoslawski for this recording.  
3.
Retablo de Navidad by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Anna Stéphany (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; Spain 
4.
Karolju: Latin no 1 by Christopher Rouse
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5.
Karolju: Swedish by Christopher Rouse
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
6.
Karolju: French by Christopher Rouse
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
7.
Karolju: Spanish by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
Karolju: Little March of the Three Kings by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
9.
Karolju: Latin no 2 by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 0 Minutes 50 Secs. 
10.
Karolju: Russian by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
11.
Karolju: Czech by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
12.
Karolju: German by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
13.
Karolju: Latin no 3 by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 0 Minutes 58 Secs. 
14.
Karolju: Italian by Christopher Rouse
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs. 
15.
Villancicos (3): no 2, Pastorcito Santo by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Anna Stéphany (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
16.
Villancicos (3): no 1, Coplillas de Belén by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Anna Stéphany (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Spain 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
17.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 1, Angels to the shepherds came by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
18.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 2, Hey! we rejoice now by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 0 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
19.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 3, When the Christ to us is born by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
20.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 6, Our Lovely Lady by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
21.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 7, Hurrying to Bethlehem by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 0 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
22.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 8, In a manger by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
23.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 9, Jesus is lying there by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
24.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 10, We are shepherds by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
25.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 11, Lullaby, Jesus by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
26.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 13, Jesus, lovely flower by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
27.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 14, Hey la, Hey la, shepherds there you are by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
28.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 15, What shall we do with this child? by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
29.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 16, Hey, hey, Lovely Lady Mary by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 
30.
Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 17, This is our Lord's birthday by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Poland 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Witold Lutoslawski. 

Sound Samples

1. Latin
2. Swedish
3. French
4. Spanish
5. Little March of the Three Kings
6. Latin
7. Russian
8. Czech
9. German
10. Latin
11. Italian
1. Aniol pasterzom mówil (Angels to the shepherds came)
2. Hej! weselmy sie (Hey! we rejoice now)
3. Gdy sie Chrystus rodzi (When the Christ to us is born)
6. Gdy sliczna Panna (Our Lovely Lady)
7. Przybiezeli do Betlejem (Hurrying to Bethlehem)
8. W zlobie lezy (In a manger)
9. Jezus malusienki (Jesus there is lying)
10. My tez pastuszkowie (We are shepherds)
11. Lulajze, Jezuniu (Lullaby, Jesus)
13. Jezu, sliczny kwiecie (Jesus, lovely flower)
14. Hola hola, pasterze z pola (Hey la, hey la, shepherds there you are)
15. A coz z ta dziecina (What to do with this child?)
16. Hej, hej, lelija Panna Maryja (Hey, hey, lovely Lady Mary)
17. Z narodzenia Pana (This is our Lord's birthday)
III. Aire y donaire (Airs and Graces)
IV. Pastorcito santo (Holy Shepherd Boy)
V. Coplillas de Belén (Carols of Bethlehem)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The website LOST my detailed review... December 6, 2011 By Neil  C. See All My Reviews "...so here's the simplified version... FIND this recording... ...OBTAIN it at the price of up to- and including your first child... ... and listen, in rapt, transcendent delight (as I did while trying to break a bone-chilling fever in a steaming tub of water [and no, I wasn't imagining things) to this paeon to xmas music of old - and new - it is THAT wonderful and delilightful...and 10X more... It is by turns celebretory yet restrained; excessive, yet pitch-perfect for the season we are entering. I believe the themes will warm the heart of my S.O. - who `hates the holidays'- yet brightens up at the lilt [if you can call them that] of Russian-Jewish themes. This is NOT mere `christmas music'...this is Winter Solstice music of the finest- and highest order." Report Abuse
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