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40 Most Beautiful Christmas Classics

40 Most Beautiful Christmas Classics / Various
Release Date: 11/13/2007 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 361852   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  TraditionalAdolphe AdamMichael PraetoriusHector Berlioz,   ... 
Performer:  Michael GeorgeSumi JoGottfried BachGottfried [Classical Keyboards] Bach,   ... 
Conductor:  Robin StapletonJohn Eliot GardinerNikolaus HarnoncourtAlexander Lazarev,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi ChoirLyon Opera OrchestraLondon Heinrich Schütz Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 27 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Warner's 40 Most Beautiful Christmas Classics presents beloved holiday standards on two ample discs, with exceptionally high production values and a strong emphasis on sacred music in its selections. Performed by such esteemed ensembles as the New College Choir Oxford, the Monteverdi Choir, Chanticleer, and the Heinrich Schütz Choir; vocal soloists Sumi Jo, Dawn Upshaw, Plácido Domingo, and Thomas Hampson; and conductors Edward Higginbottom, John Eliot Gardiner, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, among many other extraordinary artists, the selections reflect the label's fine standards and feature some of the most tasteful arrangements. Included are deeply reverent renditions of "In dulci jubilo," "This Is the Truth Sent Read more from Above," "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen," and "O Holy Night," and radiant performances of J.S. Bach's "O Jesulein süß," "The Shepherds' Farewell" by Hector Berlioz, and the "Hallelujah Chorus" from George Frideric Handel's Messiah. But a few secular Christmas songs are also mixed in, such as White Christmas, O Tannenbaum, and a brass medley of favorites by the London Brass, along with some classical instrumental pieces, so the religious atmosphere does not wholly dominate the collection. The recordings date from 1963 to 2001, so there is slight variability of volume and tone quality, though the mixing from track to track is superb, and everything seems properly balanced for comfortable home listening.

-- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
O come, O come Emmanuel by Traditional
Performer:  Michael George (Voice)
Conductor:  Robin Stapleton
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
2.
Minuit, Chrétiens "O holy night" by Adolphe Adam
Performer:  Sumi Jo (Soprano), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Sumi Jo (Voice),
Gottfried [Classical Keyboards] Bach (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
3.
In dulci jubilo by Michael Praetorius
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1619; Germany 
4.
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: L'adieu des bergers by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Lyon Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850-1854; France 
5.
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: no 1, Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Heinrich Schütz Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany 
6.
Messiah, HWV 56: Hallelujah! by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Musicus Wien,  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
7.
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: no 3, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
8.
Once in Royal David's City by Henry John Gauntlett
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford New College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
9.
Gabriel's Message (Basque) by Traditional
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1582; Spain 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
10.
In dulci jubilo by Traditional
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Period: Medieval 
Written: 12th Century; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
11.
I wonder as I wander by John Jacob Niles
Performer:  Sumi Jo (Voice)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
12.
This is the truth sent from above (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Voice)
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
13.
Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Voice)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
14.
Holiday Inn: White Christmas by Irving Berlin
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
15.
Concerto for Violin in E major, RV 270 "Il Riposo-Per il Natale" by Antonio Vivaldi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
16.
L' Enfance du Christ, oratorio for soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, 3 basses, chorus & orchetsra ("trilo by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Period: Romantic 
Written: 10/1850-07/1854; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 49 Secs. 
17.
Agnus Dei by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Voice)
Conductor:  Vjekoslav Sutej
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
18.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Performer:  Sumi Jo (Voice), Barbara Ochs (Voice)
Conductor:  Michael Schneider
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
19.
Musae Sioniae: Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen by Michael Praetorius
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1609; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
20.
In the bleak mid-winter by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1906; England 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
21.
The Holly and the Ivy by Traditional
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Voice)
Written: England 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
22.
The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum" by Katherine K. Davis
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
23.
Ave Maria by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
24.
O Jesulein süss, O Jesulein mild, BWV 493 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1736; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
25.
A Lullaby (to the tune of Kirkpatick's Away in a Manger) by Thomas Bold
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Voice)
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
26.
Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 8 in G minor "Christmas" - 3rd movement, Adagio-Allegro-Adagio by Arcangelo Corelli
Conductor:  Claudio Scimone
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1712; Rome, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
27.
Panis angelicus by César Franck
Performer:  José Carreras (Voice)
Conductor:  Vjekoslav Sutej
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
28.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
29.
Noël nouvelet, carol (French) by Traditional
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Voice)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
30.
Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
31.
Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): Jauchzet, frohlocket by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Fritz Werner
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734; Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs. 
32.
O Tannenbaum by Traditional
Conductor:  Will Glahe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Will Glahe Soloists
Written: Westphalia, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
33.
Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
34.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  Edward Higginbottom
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
35.
Joy to the World by Lowell Mason
Conductor:  Joel [Early Music] Cohen
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
36.
The first nowell by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Brass
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
37.
Messe de minuit pour Noël, H 9: Kyrie by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  Joel [Early Music] Cohen
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa ?1690; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 20 Secs. 
38.
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: no 2, March by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
39.
Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: The Dance of the sugar-plum fairy by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
40.
O little town of Bethlehem by Henry Walford Davies
Performer:  Jouko Harjanne (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Robin Stapleton
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
41.
Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Behold a virgin shall conceive... by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek (Voice)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Musicus Wien
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; England 
Length: 0 Minutes 32 Secs. 
42.
Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Oh thou that tellest good tidings by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek (Voice)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Musicus Wien
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; England 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Sound Samples

"O come, O come Emmanuel": Trad / Arr Cullen : "O come, O come Emmanuel"
The Angel Gabriel: Trad / Arr Pettman : The Angel Gabriel
In Dulci Jubilo: Trad / Arr Pearsall : In Dulci Jubilo
Once in Royal David's City: Gauntlett / Arr Willcocks : Once in Royal David's City
I Wonder as I Wander: Trad / Arr Carter : I Wonder as I Wander
This is the Truth Sent from Above: Trad / Arr Vaughan Williams : This is the Truth Sent from Above
Coventry Carol: Trad / Arr Rathbone : Coventry Carol
White Christmas: Berlin / Arr Pasatieri : White Christmas
Concerto in E major RV270, 'Il riposo' / 'Natale' : I Allegro: Vivaldi : Concerto in E major RV270, 'Il riposo' / 'Natale' : I Allegro
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25, Part 2: "Il s'en va loin de la terre" (Chorus): Berlioz: L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25, Part 2: "Il s'en va loin de la terre" (Chorus)
Agnus Dei: Bizet / Arr Schifrin : Agnus Dei
"Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!" [Silent Night]: Grüber : "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!" [Silent Night]
Es ist ein Ros Entsprungen: Praetorius, Michael : Es ist ein Ros Entsprungen
In the Bleak Midwinter: Holst : In the Bleak Midwinter
The Holly and the Ivy: Trad / Arr Cullen : The Holly and the Ivy
The Little Drummer Boy: Davis, Katherine, K., Onorati, Henry & Simeone, Harry / Arr Pasatieri: The Little Drummer Boy
Ave Maria, BMV 846: Bach: Ave Maria, BMV 846
O Jesulein Süss: Schemelli: O Jesulein Süss
A Lullaby & Away in a Manger: Trad / Arr Bold, Kirkpatrick : A Lullaby & Away in a Manger
Concerto Grosso in G minor Op.6 No.8, 'Christmas Concerto' : III Vivace - Allegro - Pastorale: Corelli : Concerto Grosso in G minor Op.6 No.8, 'Christmas Concerto' : III Vivace - Allegro - Pastorale
Panis angelicus: Franck: Panis angelicus
Adeste Fideles [O Come All Ye Faithful]: Wade, John Francis / Arr Willcocks : Adeste Fideles [O Come All Ye Faithful]
O Holy Night: Adam: O Holy Night
Noël nouvelet: Trad / Arr Humphries, Jennings, Oltman : Noël nouvelet
Huron Carol: Trad / Arr Jennings : Huron Carol
Ding Dong! Merrily on High: Trad / Arr Pasatieri: Ding Dong! Merrily on High
Weihnachtsoratorium [Christmas Oratorio] BWV248 : Part 1 "Jauchzet, frohlocket" [Choir]: Bach, JS : Weihnachtsoratorium [Christmas Oratorio] BWV248 : Part 1 "Jauchzet, frohlocket" [Choir]
O Tannenbaum
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing: Mendelssohn / Arr Willcocks : Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night: Tye, Christopher / Arr Higginbottom : While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
Joy to the world: Trad : Joy to the world
The First Nowell: Trad / Arr Harvey : The First Nowell
Messe de minuit pour Noël H9 : I Kyrie: Charpentier : Messe de minuit pour Noël H9 : I Kyrie
The Nutcracker Suite Op.71a : II March: Tchaikovsky : The Nutcracker Suite Op.71a : II March
The Nutcracker Suite Op.71a : III Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy: Tchaikovsky : The Nutcracker Suite Op.71a : III Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy
O little town of Bethlehem: Trad / Arr Cullen : O little town of Bethlehem
Messiah HWV56 : Part 1 "Behold, a virgin shall conceive" [Mezzo-Soprano]: Handel : Messiah HWV56 : Part 1 "Behold, a virgin shall conceive" [Mezzo-Soprano]
Messiah HWV56 : Part 1 "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" [Alto]: Handel : Messiah HWV56 : Part 1 "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" [Alto]
Messiah HWV56 : Part 2 "Hallelujah" [Chorus]: Handel : Messiah HWV56 : Part 2 "Hallelujah" [Chorus]
Festive Cheer Medley: Martin, Hugh / Pierpont, James / Anderson, Leroy / Blane, Ralph / Arr Harvey : Festive Cheer Medley

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