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Traditional Christmas Carol Collection Vol 2 / The Sixteen

Sixteen / Quinney / Christophers
Release Date: 10/12/2010 
Label:  Coro   Catalog #: 16085   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalHarold Edwin DarkeRichard Storrs Willis
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


It's no secret that if you're looking for a well-filled, thoughtfully programmed disc of Christmas choral music, you won't go wrong with any of The Sixteen's recordings. In 2006 this oft-lauded group led by founder Harry Christophers released a Volume 1 program of traditional carols, and this year (2010) decided to augment that release with a collection of 20 more favorites (including a few lesser-known pieces). Performed with the knowing style of a seasoned, professional British choir, these songs, hymns, and carols (all very loosely categorized here as "carols")--such gems as Holst's Masters in this hall, Poston's Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, and Darke's beloved In the bleak
Read more mid-winter--ring in the season intensified and made more meaningful by the choir's authority and respect for the music, its revered tradition, and with an obvious true love for its sound and inherent spirit.

Although Christophers mentions in the notes that selections were drawn from the 1928 Oxford Book of Carols, and certainly such pieces as the Gloucester Wassail, the Wexford Carol, and In dulci jubilo were at least partially lifted from that source, the provenance of many others is not so clearly evident (Of the Father's heart begotten, for example, isn't included in the 1928 OBC), although in some cases the popular "green" and "orange" carol books may have been consulted.

At any rate, these arrangements are all artful and refreshingly unadorned--in the best "traditional" realizations; where there is organ, its contributions are always tasteful, imaginative, and appropriate to support and/or enhance the singers. And as for the singers, well, this is one of the great, world-class choirs, its uniquely rich, vibrant sound characterized by pure-voiced sopranos and its contingent of male altos. The production and sound, from London's St. Giles Church, Cripplegate, presided over by the first-rate team of Mark Brown and Mike Hatch, is excellent. A solid and satisfying addition to any Christmas music library.

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

1.
Of the Father's heart begotten by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: 20th Century 
2.
The Truth from Above by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
3.
Gabriel's message by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: Basque Provinces 
4.
Masters in this hall by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: France 
5.
Past three o'clock by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: 16th Century; England 
6.
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
7.
In the bleak mid-winter by Harold Edwin Darke
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
8.
Gloucestershire Wassail, 'Wassail, wassail all over the town!' by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
9.
In dulci jubilo by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Medieval 
Written: 12th Century; Germany 
10.
O come, O come Emmanuel by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
11.
Adam lay ybounden by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
12.
Wither's rocking Hymn by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
13.
Cherry Tree Carol by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: England 
14.
It came upon the midnight clear by Richard Storrs Willis
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Romantic 
15.
Personent hodie by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: 14th Cent 
16.
Down in yon forest by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: England 
17.
Wexford Carol by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: Ireland 
18.
Joys Seven by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: England 
19.
As with gladness men of old by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Baroque 
20.
Unto us a boy is born! by Traditional
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Baroque 

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