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A Christmas Choral Spectacular


Release Date: 10/18/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557585   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  AnonymousTraditionalJohn Francis WadeHenry Walford Davies
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony OrchestraBournemouth Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"There have been so many recordings of holiday music using large chorus and orchestra that it’s difficult to avoid clichés in making a new one. But A Christmas Choral Spectacular sidesteps the overly familiar, and the credit for this must go to conductor Peter Breiner, who wrote all of the arrangements. Though there are moments of grandeur, the overall tone of the arrangements of the more familiar carols is more pastoral than is usual for this sort of collection. This allows a spirit to grow throughout the program that achieves a feeling of cumulative joy in the final, resounding, resplendent arrangement of "The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy." Along the way are some less familiar carols, such as "The Infant Read more King" and "Little Jesus Sweetly Slept." The sound is very reverberant, with a long echo decay, yet the up-front balance is good and reasonably transparent. The perspective seems to be from about halfway back in the hall of the recording venue (in Poole, UK)."

-- Rad Bennett,GoodSound.com

"For something that friends and relatives might like to sing along with, A Christmas Choral Spectacular (Naxos 8.557585) features the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in traditional favourites done in colourful arrangements by the Canadian-Slovak composer Peter Breiner, who is also the conductor here. Breiner has tickled up the harmonies and tailored vivid new orchestral clothes for such staples as "O Come, all ye Faithful” and “Silent Night”, but the tunes are still there to tempt us to tag along at home. Breiner’s own ‘Quem Pastores laudavere” is an upbeat adaptation of a 14th-century carol, as rhythmically pert as the calypso-style “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy” that comes at the end of the disc. The singing and orchestral playing are full of good cheer."

Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph (UK)
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Works on This Recording

1. Coventry Carol by Anonymous
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Period: Medieval 
Written: England 
2. Deck the Halls by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Written: Wales, UK 
3. Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; France 
4. Gloucestershire Wassail, 'Wassail, wassail all over the town!' by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
5. Little Jesus sweetly sleep by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
6. O Tannenbaum by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Written: Westphalia, Germany 
7. Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
8. O little town of Bethlehem by Henry Walford Davies
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
9. Puer nobis nascitur by Anonymous
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Period: Medieval 
10. Quem pastores laudavere by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century 

Sound Samples

Ding Dong! Merrily on High
Coventry Carol
Deck the hall: Deck the Hall
O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum) (arr. for choir and orchestra): O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum)
The Infant King (Oh, mi Belen)
Adeste fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful): O come, all ye faithful (Adeste, fideles)
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Puer nobis nascitur
Silent Night (Stille Nacht)
Little Jesus, Sweetly Sleep
Gloucester Wassail
Quem pastores laudavere
The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy

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