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James Whitbourn (b.1963): Carolae - Music for Christmas / Daryl Robinson, organ; Eric Rieger, tenor; James Jordan, Westminster Williamson Voices

Album Summary

>Whitbourn, James : Veni et illumina, for chorus, brass ensemble & percussion
>Pilkington, Steve : I wonder as I wander, for chorus
>Whitbourn, James : Missa Carolae, for chorus
>Whitbourn, James : Winter's Wait, for chorus & organ
>Whitbourn, James : The Magi's Dream, for chorus & organ
>Pilkington, Steve : Coventry Carol, for chorus & handbell choir
>Whitbourn, James : Of one that is so fair and bright, for chorus
>Whitbourn, James : Hodie, carol for chorus & organ
>Whitbourn, James : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Collegium regale), for chorus & organ
>Whitbourn, James : A Great and Mighty Wonder, for chorus (after Praetorius)
>Edmundson, Garth : Toccata on Vom Himmel Hoch, for organ
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

James Whitbourn is a Grammy® nominated composer whose music is internationally admired for its direct connection with performers and audiences, The Observer describing him as "a truly original communicator in modern British choral music." Carolae is a fusion of the great Christmas traditions at King's College Cambridge and Princeton University Chapel, with the Missa Carolę at its heart. Whitbourn's love of medieval musical language is reflected in his clever use of original melody with famous carols such as Noėl Nouvelet, combined with skillful new arrangements of seasonal favorites such as The Coventry Carol.

The Guardian, 18th December 2016
The impressive Westminster Williamson Voices, recorded in the expansive acoustic of Princeton University chapel, fuse American and British traditions...[Whitbourn's] Veni et illumina is a knockout.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016).



Reviews

Refreshes old favorites
I usually don't like choral works that try to incorporate traditional Christmas carols. My issue is that the original tune usually sounds like it's been shoehorned into a setting without becoming a part of it.

Not so with James Whitbourn's "Missa Carolae." Yes, the recognizable tunes are there -- "Patapan," "God rest ye merry gentlemen," "In Dulci Jubilo" and so on -- and they're recognizable when they appear. But these carols are part of a larger musical tapestry.

Whitbourn takes his source material and blends it seamlessly together, letting his original contributions flow from the structures and motifs of the carols themselves. To my ears, it makes these overly-familiar carols sound fresh again.

That freshness extends to Whitbourn's original choral works, some of which are also included on this release. These are richly textured, robust works that should appeal to both the casual listener (as most parishioners are) or the classical devotee who wants music of substance and depth.

The Westminster Williamson Voices is a large choir, so there's a certain softness to their sound. But the ensemble has a warm, creamy blend that's well-suited to the music. And their articulation is virtually flawless.

I don't need yet another by-the-numbers setting of Christmas standards. When I auditioned "Carolae, Music for Christmas," I realized this was a disc I needed.
Submitted on 12/08/16 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Whitbourn, James : Veni et illumina, for chorus, brass ensemble & percussion
  • Performers: Darin Kelly (Trumpet); Phillip O'Banion (Percussion); Daryl Robinson (Organ); Jonathan Schubert (Trombone); Karen Schubert (Horn); Eric Schweingruber (Trumpet); Bradley Ward
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Ensemble: Westminster Williamson Voices
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2015

>Pilkington, Steve : I wonder as I wander, for chorus
  • Performer: Meghan Gallagher
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1994

>Whitbourn, James : Missa Carolae, for chorus
  • Performers: Jacob Ezzo (Percussion); Christopher Hochstuhl (Piccolo); Daryl Robinson (Organ); Emily Sebastian
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>Whitbourn, James : Winter's Wait, for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Daryl Robinson (Organ)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Whitbourn, James : Missa Carolae, for chorus
  • Performers: Jacob Ezzo (Percussion); Matthew Gould (Guitar); Darin Kelly (Trumpet); Phillip O'Banion (Percussion); Daryl Robinson (Organ); Jonathan Schubert (Trombone); Eric Schweingruber (Trumpet); Robert Skoniczin (Trumpet); Bradley Ward
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>Whitbourn, James : The Magi's Dream, for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Daryl Robinson (Organ)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2011

>Whitbourn, James : Missa Carolae, for chorus
  • Performers: Micaela Bottari; Jacob Ezzo (Percussion); Matthew Gould (Guitar); Christopher Hochstuhl (Piccolo); Darin Kelly (Trumpet); Phillip O'Banion (Percussion); Daryl Robinson (Organ); Jonathan Schubert (Trombone); Eric Schweingruber (Trumpet); Robert Skoniczin (Trumpet); Jessica Stanislawczyk; Bradley Ward
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>Pilkington, Steve : Coventry Carol, for chorus & handbell choir
  • Performers: Kathleen Dunn; Samantha Goldberg; Lauren Lazzari
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2003

>Whitbourn, James : Of one that is so fair and bright, for chorus
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992

>Whitbourn, James : Hodie, carol for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Marigrace Maley; Daryl Robinson (Organ)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999

>Whitbourn, James : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Collegium regale), for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Adrienne Ostrander (Tamtam); Eric Rieger; Daryl Robinson (Organ)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Whitbourn, James : A Great and Mighty Wonder, for chorus (after Praetorius)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Whitbourn, James : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Collegium regale), for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Adrienne Ostrander (Tamtam); Eric Rieger; Daryl Robinson (Organ)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Edmundson, Garth : Toccata on Vom Himmel Hoch, for organ
  • Performer: Daryl Robinson (Organ)
  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Notes: Princeton University Chapel, New Jersey, USA (05/16/2016-05/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937