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Chanticleer: Our Favorite Carols

Track List

>A Babe is Born in Bethlehem
>Work(s): God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Rejoice and Be Merry
>Good King Wenceslas
>Gabriel's Message
>Work(s): Star of Wonder / We Three Kings of Orient Are / No Small Wonder
>I Saw Three Ships
>A Virgin Unspotted
>Huron Carol
>A Christmas Carol
>I Wonder as I Wander
>See, Amid the Winter's Snow
>Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
>Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter: The Town Lay Hushed
>This Have I Done for My True Love
>Holly and the Ivy, The
>In the Bleak Midwinter
>Silent Night

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"The choir has a sweet, youthful sound that's warmly-blended. There is none of the hootiness that can trouble some men and boy's groups, but a pure and focused tone. The album's selections are what listeners have come to expect from English cathedral and college choirs: a healthy mix of very standard carols along with a few less familiar, some contemporary classic anthems, folk song arrangements, and new works recorded for the first time. The mood of the music is predominantly gentle and meditative... The album has a nicely resonant ambience, and the sound is clear and clean." -All Music Guide

Album Notes

Recording information: Memorial Church, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

Editor: Thomas Moore .

The 12-member men's vocal group Chanticleer has the deserved reputation as one of the world's finest a cappella ensembles. A remarkably versatile group, Chanticleer has excelled in classical repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century, so it's a real luxury when it turns its considerable talents to Christmas music. It had already released about a half-dozen albums or DVDs of Christmas and holiday music before this 2011 CD. The selections on this album are not new recordings, but were taken from live radio broadcasts over the years. There are traditional carols like "Silent Night" and "Good King Wenceslas," and some more obscure, like "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" and the Huron Carol, as well as some unfamiliar pieces. All the pieces, even those likely to be new to listeners, have a traditional celebrative holiday sound and the collection fits well together. One thing that makes this album stand out from the usual holiday choral fare is the quality of the arrangements. They are exceptionally sophisticated without being fancy or pretentious. The singers of Chanticleer deliver outstanding performances, notable for their sensuous tonal beauty and crisp precision. The sound of the tracks varies, with some probably from the pre-digital era, but it is always warm and clear and usually clean. Highly recommended for anyone looking for beautiful performances of high-quality choral Christmas music. ~ Stephen Eddins


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