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The Wonder of Christmas - incl. My Dancing Day, Away in a Manger, O Holy Night, I Wonder as I Wander, The First Nowell et al. / Elora Festival Singers

Album Summary

>Gauntlett, Henry John : Once in Royal David's City, carol
>Traditional, Christmas : Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (English)
>Traditional, Christmas : What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
>Britten, Benjamin : A Boy was Born, Op. 3
>Traditional, Christmas : The Holly and the Ivy (English)
>Hanby, Benjamin Russell : Who Is He in Yonder Stall, carol for chorus
>Mouton, Jean : Nesciens Mater Virgo Virum, for 8 voices
>Kirkpatrick, William J. : Away in a manger
>Traditional, Christmas : Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French)
>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noël, for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chrétiens," "O Holy Night")
>Skempton, Howard : Adam lay y-bounden, advent carol for chorus
>Sirett, Mark : Ecce Concipies, for chorus
>Tavener, John : Rocking, carol for chorus
>Traditional, Christmas : Gabriel's Message (Basque)
>Traditional, Christmas : I Wonder As I Wander (American)
>Rutter, John : There is a flower
>Traditional, Christmas : Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, carol
>Traditional, Christmas : The First Nowell (English)
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

The Toronto-based Elora Festival Singers, conducted by their founder and internationally acclaimed director Noel Edison, are one of the most exciting of contemporary choirs. Their disc of Eric Whitacre’s choral music (8.559677) was nominated for a GRAMMY® in 2010. Now they turn to the art of the Christmas carol, a genre covering a variety of styles, both popular and refined, each piece expressing religious sentiments and beliefs. The music ranges from much-loved settings to new works, from polyphony to more straightforward melodies, in a recital stretching from the Middle Ages to the music of today. Also heard on several of the album’s tracks is the organist Michael Bloss. Through regular concert series, recordings, broadcasts, and touring, the EFS continue to reach audiences all over the world to showcase Canadian musical talent. The choir, known for its rich, warm sound and clarity of texture, has numerous releases on the Naxos label.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014
Christmas in Canada, courtesy of this silk-toned, impeccably mannered ensemble of adult singers. The Elora's airiness and ease of voice production is very noticeable, with excellent enunciation.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St. John's Church, Elora, Ontario, Canada (05/09/2014-05/11/2014).

Canada's acclaimed chamber choir the Elora Festival Singers lend their dulcet voices to this 2014 collection of Christmas carols. Once again under the directorship of the esteemed Noel Edison, they offer up a variety of different styles and sources ranging from contemporary pieces to obscure Middle Ages carols to well-established seasonal classics. Featuring organ accompaniment by frequent collaborator Michael Bloss, this is a subtle, stirring, and lovingly arranged collection that is richly evocative of the season. ~ Timothy Monger



Reviews

O' Holy Night
Itís extraordinary what one can achieve musically with the most modest resources when each participant is of a like mind. Basically, this is a traditional holiday offering right down to its title and cover art. The tried and true combination of chorus (around 20) and organ works well here. Much of the program consists of the familiar, comfortable sort of material one would anticipate. There is a healthy dose of the new and unusual as well. The Elora Festival Singers under the guidance of Noel Edison perform with consummate skill and feeling. The refined organ accompaniment of Michael Bloss is tastefully employed in several selections. The 18 carols are carefully analyzed as to origin and edition in the well written liner notes. The production/engineering team of Bonnie Silver and Norbert Kraft provide a luminous, appropriately resonant sound picture with no shortage of detail.
Submitted on 12/12/14 by Allen Cohen 
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Works Details

>Gauntlett, Henry John : Once in Royal David's City, carol
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1850

>Traditional, Christmas : Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (English)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: by 1833

>Traditional, Christmas : What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1600

>Britten, Benjamin : A Boy was Born, Op. 3
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1933

>Traditional, Christmas : The Holly and the Ivy (English)
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1710

>Hanby, Benjamin Russell : Who Is He in Yonder Stall, carol for chorus
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1866

>Mouton, Jean : Nesciens Mater Virgo Virum, for 8 voices
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Christmas

>Kirkpatrick, William J. : Away in a manger :: Cradle Song) (New English Hymnal 22)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 2 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1885

>Traditional, Christmas : Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French)
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1588

>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noël, for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chrétiens," "O Holy Night")
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 4 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1851

>Skempton, Howard : Adam lay y-bounden, advent carol for chorus
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 1 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1999

>Sirett, Mark : Ecce Concipies, for chorus
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Tavener, John : Rocking, carol for chorus
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2007

>Traditional, Christmas : Gabriel's Message (Basque)
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1582

>Traditional, Christmas : I Wonder As I Wander (American)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: by 1933

>Rutter, John : There is a flower
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 4 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1986

>Traditional, Christmas : Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, carol
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 3 min. 30 sec.
  • Form: Christmas

>Traditional, Christmas : The First Nowell (English)
  • Performer: Michael Bloss (Organ)
  • Conductor: Noel Edison
  • Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
  • Running Time: 5 min. 29 sec.
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: by 1823