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December Celebration - New Carols by Seven American Composers

Heggie / Delan / Volti Chorus / New Century
Release Date: 08/14/2015 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186537   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joan Morris & William BolDavid GarnerLuna Pearl WoolfFranz Xaver Gruber,   ... 
Performer:  Steven BaileyLisa DelanLester Lynch
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Volti Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

December holds in its hands many worlds of celebration as the month unfolds with Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas and the eve of the New Year. Over the centuries a great deal of music has marked this time of year, but very little has been added to the canon in recent decades. Gordon Getty inspired us with his composition of delightful new Christmas carols to invite a group of American composers to celebrate the season in music. The resulting New Carols by Seven American Composers, a rich and tuneful recording of new holiday classics for all to share with their friends and families, features the work of Mark Adams, Jake Heggie, Joan Morris and William Bolcom, David Garner, Luna Pearl Woolf, John Corigliano, and Gordon Getty, who, in Read more addition to his Four Christmas Carols arranged Franz Gruber’s Silent Night for mixed chorus and chamber orchestra, the culminating album track. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Neighbors on this frosty tide, carol by Joan Morris & William Bol
Performer:  Steven Bailey (Piano)
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
2.
Three Carols, for soprano, baritone, oboe, frame drum & strings by David Garner
Performer:  Lisa Delan (), Lester Lynch ()
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 14 Minutes 26 Secs. 
3.
How Bright the Darkness, for baritone, treble chorus, harp, percussion & strings by Luna Pearl Woolf
Performer:  Lester Lynch ()
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 7 Minutes 15 Secs. 
4.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Volti Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
5.
The Christmas Life, for chorus & chamber orchestra by Mark Adamo
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Period: Modern 
Written: 1962 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
6.
On the Road to Christmas, for soprano & string orchestra by Jake Heggie
Performer:  Lisa Delan ()
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 14 Minutes 47 Secs. 
7.
Four Christmas Carols, for female chorus & chamber orchestra by Gordon Getty
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 7 Minutes 45 Secs. 
8.
Christmas at the Cloisters, for chorus (or voice) & piano (from "The Cloisters") by John Corigliano
Performer:  Lester Lynch ()
Conductor:  Dawn Harms
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1965 
Date of Recording: 12/2014 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, California, 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Rejoice! new carols!  February 22, 2016 By Jim  D. See All My Reviews "I will start by being pedantic, and point out that only a few of the selections on this disc are actually carols in the strict sense. What we really have here is a series of art songs and choruses on holiday and winter themes, all by living American composers, and offering a wide variety of musical responses to their texts. Two soloists (soprano Lisa Delan and baritone Lester Lynch), a small choir, a chamber orchestra and keyboards are guided by conductor Dawn Harms. The arrangements are probably the least successful items on the program, but there were other items I immediately went back to play again. The Bolcom and Morris contribution “Neighbors on this frosty tide” (a real carol, I’d say) sounds as though you’ve known it all your life; “O magnum mysterium” by David Garner alternates a driving refrain with more lyrical verses. The booklet has all the words, which only leaves room for little photos of the composers and performers. The sound can change from track to track—depending on the forces involved—but it’s not a major distraction, and the collection is one that you may not want to hide away until next Christmas comes." Report Abuse
 My new holiday favorite November 17, 2015 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "Now here's a good idea. If you're like me and are sick to death of hearing the same old holiday "classics" year after year, then you'll welcome this new release from Pentatone. December Celebration presents a cohesive program of fresh-sounding, accessible carols by living American composers. And while the musical language might lean a little on the conservative side, these are all well-constructed compositions. There's no dumbing down here. Even the well-known "Silent Night" gets an imaginative -- but wholly appropriate -- re-imagining by Gordon Getty. One of my personal favorites is "How Bright the Darkeness" by Luna Pearl Wolf. It's a delicately beautiful work, with a similar character to Britten's "Ceremony of Carols." As with virtually all Pentatone releases, I strongly recommend purchasing the SACD version (as opposed to just downloading it). The more detailed the sound, the more beautiful the Volti Chorus seems to sing. December Celebration will be getting heavy rotation in my personal holiday music playlist." Report Abuse
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