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A Choral Christmas / Jones, Trinity Choir Of Boston


Release Date: 09/04/2001 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 93240   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John RutterTraditionalJohn GardnerElisabeth Poston,   ... 
Performer:  Alan WeissRichard FlanaganMichael KleinschmidtJudy Saiki,   ... 
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

From the first few seconds of this new recording from Brian Jones and his Trinity Choir, you know it's Christmas. The flute and bell sounds, the dancing rhythm from the organ, the prodigiously joyful voices, and the catchy, unmistakably Rutter-esque melody combine to set off the sparks that promise a bright, happy, thoughtfully and lovingly compiled program. I say "lovingly" because this is the type of programming that, as usual with Jones, is not made with the "snooty" or "snobbish" in mind, but comes purely from the heart and from the experience of a director who knows and cares about the real listening tastes of his audience. (You've got to admire anyone who convincingly and with conviction programs Read more "The Holy City" alongside works by Britten and Vaughan Williams, as he did on an earlier recording for Gothic Records.) And, as reflected here, those tastes, especially in Christmas music, cover a fairly wide range--from Rutter (three pieces) to Poulenc (O magnum mysterium) to Luboff (his well-loved arrangement of the Austrian carol Still, still, still).


The opening tune indeed is by John Rutter, a setting of the 15th-century text "Sing we to this merry company", and it's quickly followed by the Luboff arrangement, Gerald Near's setting of Ding! dong! merrily on high, and the well-known Pearsall version of In dulci jubilo. The combination of familiarity and audience-favorite continues throughout the rest of the 21 selections, with classics such as Rutter's all-time most-popular What sweeter music, Elizabeth Poston's Jesus Christ the apple tree, and Poulenc's motet O magnum mysterium. But mixed in among these revered gems are many less well-known pieces, including a snazzy, bluesy Noël nouvelet arranged by Stephen Jackson, Michael Head's charming and lovely The little road to Bethlehem, and of course a Charles Wood arrangement, Once as I remember (Wood is a Jones favorite).


The choir, one of North America's treasures, always is a treat to hear, displaying not only an enormous stylistic command but also uncommon technical range and interpretive sensitivity. I've said this before, but it's still true: The soprano section would be the envy of any choir. However, the entire ensemble manages a consistent cohesiveness and sonic refinement that's rare among amateur choirs in any part of the world. Even in small details, the choir shows extraordinary care and attention--for instance, in the perfectly rendered endings to the simple but so-often-troublesome "Gloria" line in Ding! dong! merrily on high. And for sheer strength and unity of sound, listen to the choir's rendition of Holst's On this day earth shall ring. Other highlights include Bob Chilcott's Mid-winter, a setting of the Christina Rossetti text "In the bleak mid-winter" that's become an instant favorite all over the world. Jones himself contributes a very effective arrangement of O little town of Bethlehem that joins the two "competing" tunes St. Louis and Forest Green. Although I would prefer a warmer, softer-edged sound in the Poulenc to really capture the "mysterium" in the work, and slightly better-tuned tenors in some places (What sweeter music, for example), this is a first rate recording that will satisfy all listeners looking for an ideal all-around Christmas choral collection. The sound, made in Boston's Trinity Church, captures the detail of choir, organ, and occasional percussion while faithfully capturing the fullness and resonance of the church's magnificent space.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sing we to this merry company by John Rutter
Performer:  Alan Weiss (Flute), Richard Flanagan (Percussion), Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ),
Judy Saiki (Harp), Liza Wirtz (Percussion), Jean Munroe (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Still, still, still by Traditional
Performer:  Judy Saiki (Harp)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Norman Luboff 
3.
Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Gerald Near.
This selection is based on the tune "Branle l'officiel" from Thoinot
Arbeau's "Orchésographie". 
4.
In dulci jubilo by Traditional
Performer:  Liza Wirtz (Soprano), Anthony Zoeller (Baritone), Douglas Lee (Tenor),
Libbie Landles-Dowling (Soprano), Jay Tuttle (Baritone), Jacqueline Zander-Wall (Mezzo Soprano),
Krista River (Mezzo Soprano), Carl Johnson (Tenor)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: Medieval 
Written: 12th Century; Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranged: Robert L. Pearsall 
5.
What Sweeter Music by John Rutter
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, Op. 75 no 2 by John Gardner
Performer:  Liza Wirtz (Percussion), Jean Munroe (Percussion), Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ),
Richard Flanagan (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
The Holly and the Ivy by Traditional
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ), Libbie Landles-Dowling (Soprano), Anthony Zoeller (Baritone)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: M. Shaw 
8.
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elisabeth Poston
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Go tell it on the mountain by Traditional
Performer:  Krista River (Mezzo Soprano), Dana Whiteside (Baritone), Anthony Zoeller (Baritone)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Alan Murchie 
10.
Three Winter Songs: no 2, Mid-winter by Robert Chilcott
Performer:  Alan Weiss (Flute), Judy Saiki (Harp), Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
I saw three ships by Traditional
Performer:  Liza Wirtz (Percussion), Jean Munroe (Percussion), Richard Flanagan (Percussion),
Alan Weiss (Flute), Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ), Judy Saiki (Harp)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: John Rutter 
12.
Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Norman Gilbert 
13.
Before the marvel of this night by Carl Schalk
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
14.
Once as I remember by Traditional
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Charles Wood 
15.
A stable in Bethlehem by Peter Taylor
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
16.
Noël nouvelet by Traditional
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: Stephen Jackson 
17.
Motets (4) pour le temps de Noël: no 1, O magnum mysterium by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951-1952; France 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
18.
On this day the Earth shall ring by Traditional
Performer:  Michael Kleinschmidt (Organ)
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Gustav Holst 
19.
Little Road To Bethlehem by Michael Head
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
20.
O little town of Bethlehem by Henry Walford Davies
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Brian Jones 
21.
God is with us by John Tavener
Conductor:  Brian Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 

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