While not a Christmas recording, the presence of such classics as "Quelle est cette odeur agréable?" and "Sweet little Jesus boy", along with the Christmas-themed "Gute Nacht" from Bach's Jesu meine Freude and the 13th/14th-century Latin/Middle English song "Veni Mater gracie/Dou way Robyn" at least slightly qualifies it for that designation. But this program offers so much more, from early music--Thomas Campion, Robert Ballard, John Wilbye, John Dowland--to Purcell, Poulenc, and Stanford. It's all done with five or six voices and an occasional lute, led by soprano Jolle Greenleaf and following a theme--the senses of smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste.
Most of theRead more selections--motets, madrigals, spirituals, a hymn--work very well with this small, one-voice-to-a-part ensemble, but Stanford's famous part-song The blue bird just sounds thinly-feathered, as does the excerpt from Bach's Jesu meine Freude. Ultimately, though, it's a very well-chosen and engaging mix of repertoire, and the performances by this highly acclaimed New York-based ensemble are first rate (TENET was responsible for last year's popular and very successful production of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 by the Green Mountain Project). The disc is available from TENET's website: http://www.tenetnyc.com. Well worth a visit, as they say.