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Christmas In St. Charles / Hunt, Metropolis Co, Et Al


Release Date: 12/27/2005 
Label:  A440 Music Group   Catalog #: 9001   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  John RutterTraditionalGeorge Frideric HandelPatrick Hadley,   ... 
Performer:  Goran Ivanovic
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles SingersMetropolis Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This excellent choir from St. Charles, Illinois offers a well-sung Christmas program that's focused primarily on pieces by John Rutter (six of the 19 tracks) and other more or less familiar carol arrangements by the likes of David Willcocks and Alice Parker/Robert Shaw. The rest of the disc offers less-common but invariably interesting works by Andrew Carter (an engaging setting of the text "A la nanita nana", titled Spanish Lullaby), Morten Luvass (a lovely cradle song, While stars their vigil keep), and Arvo Pärt, whose setting of Bogoróditse Djévo (Ave Maria) is flavored with exciting rhythms and is cast in a colorful East European harmonic idiom. The ensemble singing is mostly first-rate, except for some intonation lapses in Angels we Read more have heard on high and a weird and distracting heavy staccato articulation on the words "and the government shall be upon his shoulder" in Handel's For unto us a child is born. The orchestra is as good as we could want in this music, well-balanced and absolutely together in all aspects of phrasing, rhythm, and expressive mannerism. My only real complaint is the sound. While the "gem-like" Baker Memorial United Methodist Church may be wonderful for live concert performances, as reproduced here, the large, bouncy acoustic is just too reflective and resonant for a clear, detailed recording, evidenced by pieces such as "Ding dong merrily on high", where independent lines are swamped in the murky texture--an engineering problem, not a musical one. Nevertheless, there's enough rarely-heard music here to attract the attention of serious Christmas music collectors (including St. Charles tenor Robert Boyd's stirring setting of I wonder as I wander), and enough solid, technically disciplined musicianship to warrant a positive if (sonically) conditional recommendation.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Nativity Carol by John Rutter
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
2. Donkey Carol by John Rutter
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
3. Sans Day Carol by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Written: Cornwall, England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
4. Quittez pasteurs by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Written: France 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: John Rutter. 
5. Away in a Manger by John Rutter
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
6. Messiah, HWV 56: For unto us a child is born by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
7. I sing of a maiden by Patrick Hadley
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1936; England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
8. Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Sir David Willcocks.
This selection is based on the tune "Branle l'officiel" from Thoinot
Arbeau's "Orchésographie". 
9. Little Road To Bethlehem by Michael Head
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
10. Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
11. I wonder as I wander by John Jacob Niles
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
12. Spanish Carol by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Written: Spain 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
13. Masters in this hall by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers
Written: France 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
14. We'll dress this house by Alfred S. Burt
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; USA 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
15. Still, still, still by Traditional
Performer:  Goran Ivanovic (Guitar)
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Written: Austria 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
16. Angels we have heard on high by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Written: France 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
17. Bogoroditse Devo by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990; Estonia 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
18. A Christmas Carol by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; USA 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
19. Christmas Carol(s) by Traditional
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
20. The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; England 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 
21. Jingle Bells by James Pierpont
Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Charles Singers,  Metropolis Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; USA 
Venue:  Baker Methodist Church, St. Charles, IL 
Language: English 

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