Hunt / Johnston / Stringer / Worcester Cath Choir: Christmas Carols

Worcester Cathedral Choir: Christmas Carols

Hunt / Johnston / Stringer / Worcester Cath Choir: Christmas Carols

Format: CD

Regular price $14.17

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Title: Christmas Carols
Artist: Hunt / Johnston / Stringer / Worcester Cath Choir
Label: Naxos
UPC: 730099558921
Genre: Xmas Classical Vocal

Joy to the world, better known in the United States of America, is derived from Handel, and is based, initially and very simply, on the notes of the descending scale. The famous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols established earlier in the present century at King's College, Cambridge, traditionally opens with the singing in procession of the Victorian Once in royal David's city, a setting by the nineteenth century English organist Henry John Gauntlett of words by Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander. Gauntlett nearly became a pupil of Mozart's pupil and Mendelssohn's friend Attwood, but instead turned to the law, and practiced as a solicitor. He took lessons, however, from Samuel Wesley, and played the organ in the first Birmingham performance of Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah. O little town of Bethlehem is by Walford Davies with words by the nineteenth century American Bishop Philips Brooks, while The Cherry Tree Carol has a traditional English origin, the folk-tune here arranged by Donald Hunt. In the bleak mid-winter, a setting of a poem by Christina Rossetti, has music by Gustav Holst, who arranged the traditional Sing aloud. Away in a manger is equally well known in two different versions. The setting better known in England is that by the American gospel music composer William James Kirkpatrick. The tune for the anonymous words is here arranged by Donald Hunt. Joys Seven is another traditional carol, the setting arranged by Stephen Cleobury of King's College, Cambridge. I wonder as I wander, arranged by Donald Hunt, and Jesus, Jesus, rest your head, arranged by Arthur Warrell, are taken from Appalachia, a rich source of original folk-song material, inherited from early settlers. In dulci jubilo, a German fourteenth century Macaronic carol, alternating Latin and vernacular words, is sung in a familiar nineteenth century arrangement by the antiquarian English composer Robert Lucas Pearsall. O little one sweet is familiar in J. S. Bach's harmonization of a melody by his seventeenth century compatriot Samuel Scheidt. The Shepherds' Rocking Carol is of Czech origin, a Christmas lullaby, and Ding dong! Merrily on high, with English words by G. R. Woodward, uses a sixteenth century French dance tune. O come, all ye faithful, in it's English version, is of composite authorship, with music of probable eighteenth century provenance, arranged by David Willcocks. The Coventry Carol is taken from the fifteenth century Pageant of Shearmen and Tailors, lamenting at the same time the Massacre of the Holy Innocents and while advertising the Shearmen's own wares, scissors, knives and shears. As I outrode is an English traditional carol and Unto us is born a son, a Latin carol of the fifteenth century, appears in the well known German collection Piae Cantiones, published in 1582. The anthology ends with Mendelssohn's Hark, the herald angels sing, adapted by W. H. Cumming, from a festival choral composition, here arranged by David Willcocks and Donald Hunt's arrangement of Silent Night, it's original German words written by Joseph Mohr in 1818, with a melody of the same date by Franz Gruber. The music of Stille Nacht was written on Christmas eve, presumably for performance at Midnight Mass at the church of St. Nicholas at Oberndorf, where Gruber was organist and choirmaster. On this first occasion the organ broke down, and a guitar was used in accompaniment.

1.1 Joy to the World
1.2 Once in Royal David's City
1.3 O Little Town of Bethlehem
1.4 The Cherry Tree Carol
1.5 In the Bleak Midwinter
1.6 Sing Aloud
1.7 Away in a Manger
1.8 Joys Seven
1.9 I Wonder As I Wander
1.10 Jesus, Jesus, Rest Youe Head
1.11 In Dulci Jubilo
1.12 O Little One Sweet
1.13 Rocking
1.14 Ding, Dong, Merrily on High
1.15 O Come, All Ye Faithful
1.16 Coventry Carol
1.17 As I Outrode
1.18 Unto Us Is Born a Son
1.19 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
1.20 Silent Night
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