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The Herald Angels Sing - Choral Music For Christmas

Hark The Herald Angels Sing / Various
Release Date: 12/08/2009 
Label:  Carus   Catalog #: 83441  
Composer:  TraditionalFelix MendelssohnMichael PraetoriusRobert Lucas Pearsall,   ... 
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recorded at a Hannover church in 2009, this program makes a welcome addition to the vast catalog of Christmas discs, owing to its wide-ranging and unusual repertoire, much of it arrangements by living composers. Not that the music is unfamiliar--included are such beloved standards as Hark! the herald angels sing; Still, still, still; Tomorrow shall be my dancing day; Es ist ein Ros entsprungen; In dulci jubilo; Adeste fideles--but with the exception of "Dancing day", which is the well-worn Willcocks version, even these classic tunes receive finely-wrought new treatments that earn a place next to the ones we know. And there also are tunes familiar to English-speakers but here are set in fresh arrangements to German texts: O du Read more fröhliche (often sung as O Sanctissima, or to any of several other English texts); Tochter Zion (known as the hymn Thine be the glory, by Handel); and Haben Engel wir vernommen (Angels we have heard on high--Otfried Büsing's setting is a highlight!).

Siegfried Strobach's arrangement of Still, still, still is an ideal realization of this gentle lullaby; likewise Gustav Nordqvist's Swedish carol Jul, jul, strålande jul is as delicate and sparkling as a snowflake; Romaulds Jermaks' setting of the hymn Der Weg nach Bethlehem (The way to Bethlehem) is a precious gem; Javier Busto's Hodie Christus natus est is a significant addition to the Christmas canon, its concluding minutes marked by a surprising shift of mood and introduction of a drum accompaniment; and Ralph Hoffmann's mellifluous Hark! The herald should be in every church choir's repertoire. (I could have done without Andrea Figallo's Christmas Lullaby, a catchy thing whose tune and bell-like effects could be charming if sung without the little pop-style swoops and scoops.)

And speaking of choirs, the Junges Vokalensemble Hannover displays all of the qualities we expect from a "young" and very accomplished group of singers: an engaging and spirited style, supported by exceptional vocal technique; and the warm blend and very well-balanced sound is a pleasure to hear, even if the acoustic space sometimes contributes a bit more resonance than ideal. Christmas choral music fans will be pleased.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Still, still, still by Traditional
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Written: Austria 
Notes: Arrangement: Siegfried Strohbach 
2.
Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Notes: Arrangement: Ralph Hoffmann 
3.
Musae Sioniae: Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1609; Germany 
4.
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day by Traditional
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Notes: Arrangement: David Willcocks 
5.
In dulci jubilo by Robert Lucas Pearsall
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
6.
Jul, jul stralande jul by Gustaf Nordqvist
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Sweden 
7.
Wiegenlied by Lajos Bárdos
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
8.
Tröstet mein Volk, Op. 39 by Eduard Karl Nössler
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: Romantic 
9.
Hodie Christus natus est by Javier Busto
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
10.
Adeste fideles by Carl Thiel
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
11.
Maria durch ein Dornwald ging by Gottfried Wolters
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
12.
Christmas Lullaby by Andrea Figallo
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
13.
O du Fröhliche by Hans Georg Pflüger
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
14.
Corpus Christi by Trond Kverno
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; Norway 
15.
Tochter Zion, freue dich by Hans Georg Pflüger
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
16.
Der Weg nach Bethlehem by Romualds Jermaks
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
17.
Haben Engel wir vernommen by Otfried Büsing
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
18.
Leise rieselt der Schnee by Traditional
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: Arrangement: Ulrich Schicha 
19.
Stille, stille, lasst uns lauschen by Traditional
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: Arrangement: Ulrich Schicha 
20.
Ihr Kinderlein kommet by Traditional
Conductor:  Klaus-Jürgen Etzold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Youth Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: Arrangement: Ulrich Schicha 

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