The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album / Rutter

Release Date: 10/7/2003
Label: Collegium
Catalog Number: CSCD512
Conductor: John Rutter
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$11.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews

Over the past couple of decades, the Christmas recordings of John Rutter and his Cambridge Singers have claimed such a solid and widely enjoyed presence among choral music fans that we have to say that this group and its director/composer/arranger have long ago passed from phenomenon to tradition. This new release, which contains 19 previously issued but newly re-mixed tracks along with four never-before released selections, is both a celebration of that legacy and a re-affirmation of Rutter's uniquely influential contributions to a special genre that began years ago with his acclaimed carol arrangements and his now-classic anthem "What sweeter music". While this disc does not feature Rutter's own compositions--those can be found on an earlier companion disc, The John Rutter Christmas Album (type Q5895 in Search Reviews)--it does offer many of his carol arrangements (notably the infectious "Somerset Wassail") along with some of the finest by such masters as David Willcocks, H. Walford Davies, and Healey Willan (whose rarely-heard setting of "What is this lovely fragrance?" is happily included rather than the fine but ubiquitous Willcocks version).


The program also provides a very healthy dose of original pieces, from Victoria's O magnum mysterium, Handel's For unto us a child is born, Kenneth Leighton's Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child, and Britten's A New Year Carol, to Sweelinck's double-choir Hodie Christus natus est, John Tavener's The Lamb, and Peter Warlock's Balulalow and I saw a fair maiden. The disc ends with Vaughan Williams' rousing Fantasia on Christmas Carols. As you might expect, there's not a dull moment during this very generously filled 77-plus-minute CD, and there's so much joy and beauty in these well-chosen, perfectly sung pieces that a simple numerical rating doesn't do it justice. The sound is appropriately full, vibrant, clear, and dynamic. Add this to your list. [11/8/2003]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. The holly and the ivy by Henry Walford Davies
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: 20th Century
2. Blessed be that Maid Mary by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
3. Somerset Wassail by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
4. Shepherds in the field abiding by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
5. The infant king by Traditional
Performer: Caroline Ashton (Soprano)
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
6. What is this lovely fragrance? by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
7. Gabriel's message by Traditional
Performer: Ruth Holton (Soprano)
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
8. Still, still, still by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
9. Quittez pasteurs by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
10. Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle by Traditional
Conductor: John Rutter
11. Personent hodie by Anonymous
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: Medieval
Written: 1582 ; Sweden
12. L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: L'adieu des bergers by Hector Berlioz
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: Romantic
Written: 1850-1854 ; France
13. Minuit, Chrétiens "O holy night" by Adolphe Adam
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: Romantic
14. O magnum mysterium by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1572 ; Spain
15. Hodie Christus natus est by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: Renaissance
16. Messiah, HWV 56: For unto us a child is born by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
17. In dulci jubilo by Samuel Scheidt
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1650 ; Halle, Germany
18. Carols (3), Op. 25: no 2, Lully, lulla thou little tiny child by Kenneth Leighton
Performer: Caroline Ashton (Soprano)
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1948 ; England
19. A New Year Carol by Benjamin Britten
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1971 ; England
20. Carols (3): Balulalow by Peter Warlock
Performer: Karen Kerslake (Soprano)
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1923 ; England
21. I saw a fair maiden by Peter Warlock
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1927 ; England
22. Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer: Stephen Varcoe (Baritone), Stephen Orton (Cello)
Conductor: John Rutter
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912 ; England
23. The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Conductor: John Rutter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cambridge Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1982 ; England
Customer Reviews