Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers [CD & DVD]

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Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers [CD & DVD]
Jeannette Sorrell (harpsichord & conductor) & Meredith Hall (soprano) / Apollo's Fire

[ Avie / 2 CD/DVD ]

Release Date: Monday 5 November 2012

This item is currently out of stock. We expect to be able to supply it to you within 2 - 4 weeks from when you place your order.

Sacrum Mysterium, Apollo's Fire's popular Celtic Christmas programme, arrives on CD together with a bonus DVD.

Long before Christianity took hold in Scotland and Ireland, the ancient Celts celebrated the Winter Solstice and the coming of light and hope. Jeannette Sorrell's celebration of Celtic artistic traditions interweaves selections from medieval Vespers with ancient pagan carols and popular tunes from 17th-century Welsh and Scottish manuscripts. Joyous fiddle tunes and Irish dances burst forth against the vivid backdrop of the unfolding Christ story. The colourful sounds of antiphonal bagpipes, archlute, harp, percussion, fiddles and recorders are blended in musical arrangements by Sylvain Bergeron and Sorrell. The Montreal-based early-music ensemble La Nef joins Apollo's Fire for this collaboration featuring the radiant Canadian soprano Meredith Hall. The CD is complemented with a bonus DVD featuring several songs from the album.

"This type of fusion is increasingly popular, and Apollo's Fire do it enthusiastically, if perhaps without the final degree of finessed musicality that other ensembles bring to this type of project" (BBC Music)

"Dennis and Radley could have brought more savour to the acerbically witty Italian text...But their singing is mellifluous, nimble and gracefully shaped, with Dennis nicely catching Amaryllis's mix of playful caprice and dismissive spirit." (Gramophone)


1. Processional: Oikan ayns Bethlehem (The Babe in Bethlehem) (Manx Gaelic Carol)
2. Duan Nollaig (Scottish Gaelic Carol)
From The Vespers of St Kentigern:
3. Deus in adjutorium - Alleluia (Alleluia by Jeannette Sorrell)
4. Responsorium - Gloria Patri
5. Hymnus: Iste confessor Domini
6. Alleluia (Jeannette Sorrell)
7. The Road to Lisdoonvarna (Traditional Irish jig)
Offertory & Carols:
8. Veni, veni, Emmanuel (12th-century carol)
9. Nowell, Nowell, Tydings Trew (15th-century carol)
10. Noël nouvelet | 15th-century French/Breton carol, Oxford English text
11. Sussex Carol (On Christmas Night) (Traditional English)
12. Come, My Children Dere (17th century Scottish carol, arr. Alexander Montgomerie & Jeannette Sorrell)
13. Wat ye what I got yestreen (Skene MS, Scottish, 1715)
14. Taladh Chriosda (Christ Child's Lullaby) | Scottish Gaelic lullaby
15. Hodie, Christus natus est (Gregorian Antiphon to the Magnificat, Vespers for Christmas Day) From The Vespers of St Kentigern:
16. Magnificat anima mea
17. Antiphon de Maria ad Vesperas - Benedicamus
Hymn & Carols:
18. All Sons of Adam, Sing Nowell! (Tune from Forbes, Songs & Fancies, Aberdeen, 1662)
19. What Child is This? (Tune: My Lagan Love, traditional Irish air)
20. Usheg veg ruy (Little Red Bird) (Manx Gaelic lullaby)
21. O'Carolan's Cup Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738)
22. O'Carolan's Favorite Jig (Turlough O'Carolan)
23. At Work on the Land/Tatter Jack Walsh (arr. Tina Bergmann and Jem Moore)
24. The Seven Rejoyces of Mary (Traditional Irish carol)
25. Postlude: Christmas Eve (Irish reel)

Disc 2:
1. Highlights from the premiere concerts at the stunning Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio (Bonus DVD)