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Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Vendome, Oxford Girls' Choir


Release Date: 01/01/2009 
Label:  Gift Of Music   Catalog #: 1220   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin BrittenGabriel FauréAlexandre Pierre BoëlyDanielle Perrett
Performer:  Richard VendomeDanielle Perrett
Conductor:  Richard Vendome
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Girls' Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a fine rendition of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, unusual in the fact that it's performed by a girls' choir rather than the usual ensemble of boys or adult women. In fact, Britten's early versions of the work in 1942 (its final revision wasn't until the summer of 1943) were conceived for female singers, and indeed the first performance, in December 1942, was by the women of England's Fleet Street Choir. And these young Oxford women/girls are excellent in all respects--diction, tone, interpretive sensibility, rhythmic vitality, and overall ensemble unity. The collective sonority rings and shimmers without the sharp-edged brightness you often hear from all-boys' choirs. The various soloists are exemplary, but alto Imogen Gardam is Read more especially compelling in her "That yonge childe". As we expect from every harpist in this work, Danielle Perrett is first-rate.

The rest of the program is rather unusually filled-out with French works, both for female voices (both solo and choral) and for organ solo. The vocal pieces appropriately feature harp accompaniment, and although there's nothing of major consequence here, the three Fauré selections are delightful enough, as are the unison Christmas songs (Cantiques de Noël) published by 16th-century writer/poet Nicolas Denisot, which choir director/organist Richard Vendome follows with "matching" organ preludes by Alexandre Boëly. It doesn't add up to a cohesive program with the Britten, but it's hard to complain about music and performances that make such a fine impression, recorded in an acoustic space that ideally captures and complements voices and instruments. Typical of this label, liner notes are very skimpy, with no text translations or even track timings.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Vendome
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Girls' Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
2.
Maria Mater gratiae, Op. 47 no 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Vendome
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Girls' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; France 
3.
En prière by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Vendome
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Girls' Choir
4.
Le ruisseau, Op. 22 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Vendome
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Girls' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1881; France 
5.
Preludes (14) for Organ on Denizot's Cantiques, Op. 15: Excerpt(s) by Alexandre Pierre Boëly
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Vendome
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Girls' Choir
6.
On Christmas Night by Danielle Perrett
Performer:  Danielle Perrett (Harp)
7.
Messe du jour de Noël, Op. 11: Allegretto Pastorale by Alexandre Pierre Boëly
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
8.
Andante Con Moto for organ in G minor, Op. 45 no 7 by Alexandre Pierre Boëly
Performer:  Richard Vendome (Organ)
Period: Romantic 

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