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Christmas Carols / Westenburg, Musica Sacra


Release Date: 10/15/1990 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 429732   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Xaver GruberTraditionalGiovanni GabrieliHarold Friedell,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

As usual, this disc arrived for review well before the Christmas season—even, I think, before the Humbug season, that ever-expanding period when the ¡eaves are still on the trees, the pumpkins are dressed in red Santa-Claus hats, and the stores are ankle-deep in artificial snow. But the time for holiday spirit will be here soon enough, and Westenburg and his choir are a sure bet to put me in the proper mood. This is one of the best Christmas albums I've heard in years, one that I'm not reluctant to mention in the same breath with Shaw's classical LPs and Flummerfelt's now deleted recording for Peters International. Westenburg has chosen a program of nineteen traditional carols from ten different “countries“ (I'm counting Wales and Read more Scotland separately), together with the eight attributed compositions—four each from the Renaissance and from our own century. The traditional songs are a mix of carols that would be sung by the congregation (“Silent Night,“ “O Little Town of Bethlehem“) and by the choir (“Carol of the Bells,“ “Patapan“), most of which will be familiar to most listeners. The congregational carols are present in hymn-like settings; the others in more elaborate, but tasteful, arrangements. All, with the possible exception of “Deck the Hall,“ have sacred texts, and all are sung a cappella, mostly in English. The performances are uniformly splendid, and Deutsche Grammophon's recording is exceptionally clean. Although Westenburg and Musica Sacra didn't record “Joy to the World,“ there's a little more of it around now, thanks to this disc.

-- George Chien, FANFARE [1/1991] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Alice Parker, Robert Shaw 
2.
Carol of the Bells by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: Ukraine 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Peter J. Wilhousky 
3.
O magnum mysterium by Giovanni Gabrieli
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1587; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Joseph, lieber Joseph mein by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 1 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Norman Luboff 
5.
Still, still, still by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Norman Luboff 
6.
O Tannenbaum by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: Westphalia, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in both English & German. 
7.
The first nowell by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Orisons (8): Saw you never in the twilight by Harold Friedell
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
The Holly and the Ivy by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Edwin Fissinger 
10.
O little town of Bethlehem by Henry Walford Davies
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Patapan by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Burgundy, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 0 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Martin Shaw 
12.
Away in a manger by William James Kirkpatrick
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Richard Westenburg 
13.
Did Mary know? by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Richard E. Averre 
14.
Deck the Halls by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 0 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Edwin Fissinger 
15.
Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Martin Shaw 
16.
Hodie Christus natus est by Luca Marenzio
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1585; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
17.
Baloo, Lammy by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: Scotland 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Norman Luboff 
18.
I saw three ships by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Edwin Fissinger 
19.
Of the Father's love begotten by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Dale Warland 
20.
E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come by Paul Manz
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1954; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 
21.
As with gladness men of old by Conrad Kocher
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks 
22.
I wonder as I wander by John Jacob Niles
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Vernon de Tar 
23.
A la nanita nana by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Norman Luboff
This selection is sung in both English and Spanish. 
24.
Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Charles Wood
This selection is based on the tune "Branle l'officiel" from Thoinot Arbeau's "Orchésographie" and is sung in both Latin and English.
This selection is based on the tune "Branle l'officiel" from Thoinot
Arbeau's "Orchésographie". 
25.
Angelus ad pastores ait by Hans Leo Hassler
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1601; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
26.
Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930/1934; England 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
27.
Methinks I see an heav'nly host "The Shepherd's Carol" by William Billings
Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1987 
Venue:  St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 

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