Notes & Reviews:
American Record Guide, November/December 2014
The scoring is for trumpet and organ accompanying choir and soloists from the choir. The sound of the trumpet suggests Gabriel's message and undergirds the entire cantata. Trumpeter Desbruslais plays splendidly. Rees paces the performance well and gets a clear and tight ensemble from his mixed choir. The organists handle their often demanding role with deftness, and they blaze forth mightily in the final movement. The solo voices are satisfactory. All in all this is a wonderful release. Bednall offers a refreshingly honest and creative perspective on the Christmas-Epiphany story. His cantata is a string of gems, each different in style and each able to stand on its own. If you'd like a break from yet another collection of carols for Christmas by an English choir, don't miss this opportunity. This is what I'll be giving my friends for Christmas this year.
Welcome all Wonders: A Christmas Cantata is a large-scale work for choir, organ and trumpet spanning 15 movements. It celebrates the Christmas story through an imaginative selection and juxtaposition of poetry and liturgical texts, and provides a multifaceted telling of the familiar narrative. This world premiere recording features the Choir of Queen's College, Oxford, one of the finest and most active university choirs in the UK.
MusicWeb International, 18th November 2013
It's a very tranquil piece which is beautifully imagined for voices...[but] Bednall does not shy away from the darker side of the Christmas story... The performance is excellent. The choir of Queen's College...sing the work splendidly and with great assurance and commitment. The sound is fresh and clear, the choir achieving a satisfying blend and very good diction...an original and very rewarding addition to the Christmas choral repertoire.
BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013
Bednall's work makes a bright, immediate impression, the idiom, accessible without being superficial.
International Record Review, December 2013
Has genuinely expressive moments... Bednall is honoured with what is surely a splendid performance from the Choir of Queen's College, Oxford with organists Olivia Clark and Paul Manley and trumpeter Simon Desbruslais, directed by Owen Rees.
Gramophone Magazine, December 2013
An excellent disc: the singing is incredibly tight, in the manner to which it has become increasingly accustomed under its musical director, Owen Rees, and Bednall's writing is ingenious, embedded in a profound understanding of the workings of the choir and organ- both as distinct entries and as a partnership.
Recording information: Chapel of Keble College, Oxford, England (03/19/2012-03/21/2012).
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Works DetailsBednall, David : Welcome All Wonders :: A Christmas Cantata for soloists, chorus, trumpet & 2 organs
- Performers: Olivia Clarke (Organ); Simon Desbruslais (Trumpet); Kenneth Tickell (Organ)
- Conductor: Owen Rees
- Ensemble: Queen's College Choir Oxford
- Notes: Chapel of Keble College, Oxford, England (03/19/2012-03/21/2012)
- Running Time: 75 min. 5 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Form: Christmas