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Wolcum Yule / Andrew Lawrence-king, Anonymous 4

Anonymous 4
Release Date: 11/08/2011 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 2927325  
Composer:  AnonymousTraditionalRichard Rodney BennettPeter Maxwell Davies,   ... 
Performer:  Jacqueline HornerJohanna RoseSusan HellauerMarsha Genensky,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


It's been 10 years--1993's On Yoolis Night--since we heard this ensemble sing real Christmas carols--in English, even. Fans of this extraordinary quartet will be pleasantly surprised with this choice of repertoire--and with the beautiful accompaniments by Andrew Lawrence-King and his harps. The majority of the selections are traditional English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and even Cornish songs, but we're also treated to world-premiere recordings of pieces by Peter Maxwell Davies (A Calendar of Kings) and Geoffrey Burgon (A god, and yet a man?). Then there's a luminous all-female rendition of John Tavener's justly popular The Lamb (his first success, a sincere and simple work unencumbered by later
Read more self-conscious religious agendas) and the concluding A New Year Carol, where Benjamin Britten's original arpeggiated piano accompaniment lends itself perfectly to this setting where the unison voices are supported by Lawrence-King's Baroque harp.


Anonymous 4's Johanna Maria Rose shows that she knows a thing or two about arranging for the voices she's been singing with for the past couple of decades, contributing her own very pleasing takes on the carols The holly and the ivy, Grene growith the holy, and I saw three ships. Highlights are many, but include Peter Maxwell Davies' uniquely affecting A Calendar of Kings, basically a fanciful harmonic journey through the wondrous imagery of George Mackay Brown's poem--a mystical trip not through Eastern landscapes but rather through the poet's own Orkney Islands--that's full of wild and wonderful colors and startling effects that show off Anonymous 4's rarely heard contemporary-music chops. Richard Rodney Bennett's setting of Balulalow is a gem, as are Marsha Genensky's solo interpretation of Good people all, accompanied by Lawrence-King's vibrant, bell-like Irish harp, and the irresistibly "catchy" Can wassel (Wassail Song).


The disc is enhanced by a well-planned programming order that ensures transitions from track to track are smooth and sensitive to keys and to the listener's need both for tonal continuity and musical variety. For some reason, the sound on the latter part of the disc is more resonant and present than on the opening tracks--a situation that takes about two seconds to adjust to. It need not be said that Anonymous 4 fans will want this without delay. And if it's possible that there are listeners new to this group, here's an easy way to get to know its matchless sound and enduring, engaging personality. [10/4/2003]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Reviewing original release Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Awake and join the cheerful choir by Anonymous
Performer:  Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice), Susan Hellauer (Voice),
Marsha Genensky (Voice), Andrew Lawrence-King (Harp)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Wexford Carol by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Irish Harp), Marsha Genensky (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: Ireland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Seven joys of Mary by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Johanna Rose (Voice), Susan Hellauer (Voice),
Marsha Genensky (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Wemyss Lute Book: My Lady Binnis Lilt by Anonymous
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Harp)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1643; Scotland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
5.
Balulalow by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Harp), Johanna Rose (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: Scotland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
Lullabies (2): O my dear heart, young Jesu sweet "Balulalow" by Richard Rodney Bennett
Performer:  Susan Hellauer (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice),
Marsha Genensky (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
The Holly and the Ivy by Traditional
Performer:  Susan Hellauer (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice),
Marsha Genensky (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
The Scots Musical Museum: Tullochgorum by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Scotland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
9.
I saw three ships by Traditional
Performer:  Susan Hellauer (Voice), Marsha Genensky (Voice), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery),
Johanna Rose (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
A Calendar of Kings by Peter Maxwell Davies
Performer:  Marsha Genensky (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice),
Susan Hellauer (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2002; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Lá fuar geimhreadh by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Irish Harp)
Written: Ireland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
12.
La fugida en Egite by Traditional
Performer:  Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Andrew Lawrence-King (Irish Harp)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Gaelic 
13.
A God, and yet a Man? by Geoffrey Burgon
Performer:  Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice), Marsha Genensky (Voice),
Susan Hellauer (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 
14.
Wel, dyma'r borau gorau by Traditional
Performer:  Marsha Genensky (Voice), Susan Hellauer (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice),
Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Andrew Lawrence-King (Harp)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Welsh 
15.
Wassail Song by Traditional
Performer:  Marsha Genensky (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Susan Hellauer (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Cornish 
16.
A New Year Carol by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Susan Hellauer (Voice), Marsha Genensky (Voice),
Johanna Rose (Voice), Andrew Lawrence-King (Harp)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
17.
Greene growith the holly by King VIII Henry
Performer:  Marsha Genensky (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Johanna Rose (Voice),
Susan Hellauer (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: English 
18.
Cherry Tree Carol by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Harp), Susan Hellauer (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: English 
19.
The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Performer:  Marsha Genensky (Voice), Jacqueline Horner (Voice), Susan Hellauer (Voice),
Johanna Rose (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: English 

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