A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey

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A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey
The Choir of Westminster Abbey / James O'Donnell (conductor)

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Saturday 1 November 2008

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An excellent selection of contemporary carols features the composers Jonathan Dove and Bob Chilcott among others. The richness of twentieth-century church music is illustrated in works by Poulenc, Walton, Mathias and Leighton, and by the heartbreakingly lovely piece The little road to Bethlehem by Michael Head. Skilful arrangements of the traditional carols Silent night, In dulci jubilo and I saw three ships, complete this attractive seasonal release.

"An ambitious and superbly sung programme, sympathetically framed within the choir's spaciously atmospheric home acoustic." (Five Stars BBC Music)

"The Christmas Eve carol service at Westminster Abbey is one of the most warming events in the festive calendar, and this CD captures the atmosphere beautifully … The singing is a constant delight" (Daily Telegraph)


1 In dulci iubilo [3'37] Anonymous - Medieval, arr. Robert Lucas Pearsall (1795-1856)
William Fairbairn (treble), Cameron Roberts (treble), Daniel Parr (treble), Mark Dobell (tenor)

Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
2 No 1: O magnum mysterium [3'11]
3 No 2: Quem vidistis pastores dicite [2'30]
4 No 3: Videntes stellam [2'53]
5 No 4: Hodie Christus natus est [2'32]
6 A Christmas Caroll, Op 21 'What sweeter musick can we bring?' [6'26] Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988)
Julian Empett (bass), Robert Quinney (organ)

7 All this time [1'56] Sir William Walton (1902-1983)

8 Nativity 'Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb' [3'39] James Lavino (b1973)

9 Dormi, Jesu [4'56] John Rutter (b1945)
Robert Quinney (organ)

10 The Shepherd's Carol 'We stood on the hills, Lady' [3'09] Bob Chilcott (b1955)

11 The Three Kings 'O balow, balow la lay. The first king was very young' [5'26] Jonathan Dove (b1959)
Benedict Kearns (treble), Cameron Roberts (treble)

12 Joys Seven 'The first good joy that Mary had' [3'16] Anonymous - Medieval, arr. Stephen Cleobury (b1948)
Benedict Kearns (treble), Robert Quinney (organ)

13 Stille Nacht 'Silent night! Holy night!' [3'00] Franz Xaver Grüber (1787-1863), arr. Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (b?)

14 I saw three ships [1'39] Anonymous - traditional, arr. James O'Donnell (b1961)
Benedict Kearns (treble), Nicholas Trapp (treble), Cameron Roberts (treble), William Fairbairn (treble), Maxim Del Mar (treble)

15 The little road to Bethlehem 'As I walked down the road at set of sun' [3'05] Michael Head (1900-1976)
Ave Rex, Op 45 William Mathias (1934-1992)

16 Movement 1: Ave Rex angelorum [2'50]
Robert Quinney (organ)

17 Movement 2: Alleluya, a new work is come on hand [1'47]
Robert Quinney (organ)

18 Movement 3: There is no rose of such virtue [4'05]
Robert Quinney (organ)

19 Movement 4: Sir Christèmas 'Nowell, nowell' [1'42]
Robert Quinney (organ)

20 Movement 5: Ave Rex angelorum [1'45]
Robert Quinney (organ)