Various Artists: The Very Best of Christmas [Naxos] [Slimline]

Audio Samples

>Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
>Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (adapted by W. H. Cummings from Mendelssohn's Festgesang for the Gutenberg Festival)
>Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Behold a virgin shall conceive
>Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: For unto us a Child is born
>Messe de minuit, for 5 voices, chorus, instruments & continuo, H. 9: Gloria - (Latin)
>Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night)
>O Jesulein süss, sacred song for voice & continuo (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 203), BWV 493 (BC F234) - (German)
>Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came, The (Birjina gaztettobat zegoen, Basque carol)
>First Nowell, The (English)
>Enfance du Christ, oratorio for soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, 3 basses, chorus & orchetsra, L' ("trilogie sacrée") H. 130 (Op. 25): The Shepher
>In the Bleak Midwinter
>Old English Carols (4), for chorus & piano, Op. 20b, H. 82: A Babe is born
>Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French)
>God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (English)
>God is with us (A Christmas Proclamation), for chorus & organ
>Sussex Carol ("On Christmas Night")
>Wassail Song ("Here We Come A-Wassailing"), carol
>Holly and the Ivy, The (English)
>What Sweeter Music, for chorus
>O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste fidelis)
>Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Movement 1
>Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Movement 2
>Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Movement 3
>Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): Sinfonia
>Concerto Grosso in G minor ("Christmas Concerto"), Op. 6/8: Pastorale
>Cantata No. 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," BWV 140 (BC A166): Wachet auf
>Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), oratorio, H. 21/3: Winter. 'Die Einleitung schildert die dicken Nebel
>German dances (3) for orchestra, K. 605: Sleigh Ride
>Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
>Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Waltz, The
>Christmas Eve Suite (Noch' pered rozhdestvom), for orchestra (with optional chorus ad lib): Polonaise
>Seasons, for piano, Op. 37: December, The
>Weihnachtsbaum, for piano, S. 186 (LW A267): Adeste Fideles
>Lieutenant Kijé, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60: 4. Troika
>Cinderella, ballet, Op. 87: Cinderella's Waltz
>Sleigh Ride, for orchestra (or string orchestra)

Track List

>Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
>Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (adapted by W. H. Cummings from Mendelssohn's Festgesang for the Gutenberg Festival)
>Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Behold a virgin shall conceive
>Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: For unto us a Child is born
>Messe de minuit, for 5 voices, chorus, instruments & continuo, H. 9: Gloria - (Latin)
>Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night)
>O Jesulein süss, sacred song for voice & continuo (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 203), BWV 493 (BC F234) - (German)
>Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came, The (Birjina gaztettobat zegoen, Basque carol)
>First Nowell, The (English)
>Enfance du Christ, oratorio for soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, 3 basses, chorus & orchetsra, L' ("trilogie sacrée") H. 130 (Op. 25): The Shepher
>In the Bleak Midwinter
>Old English Carols (4), for chorus & piano, Op. 20b, H. 82: A Babe is born
>Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French)
>God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (English)
>God is with us (A Christmas Proclamation), for chorus & organ
>Sussex Carol ("On Christmas Night")
>Wassail Song ("Here We Come A-Wassailing"), carol
>Holly and the Ivy, The (English)
>What Sweeter Music, for chorus
>O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste fidelis)
>Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Movement 1
>Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Movement 2
>Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Movement 3
>Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): Sinfonia
>Concerto Grosso in G minor ("Christmas Concerto"), Op. 6/8: Pastorale
>Cantata No. 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," BWV 140 (BC A166): Wachet auf
>Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), oratorio, H. 21/3: Winter. 'Die Einleitung schildert die dicken Nebel
>German dances (3) for orchestra, K. 605: Sleigh Ride
>Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
>Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Waltz, The
>Christmas Eve Suite (Noch' pered rozhdestvom), for orchestra (with optional chorus ad lib): Polonaise
>Seasons, for piano, Op. 37: December, The
>Weihnachtsbaum, for piano, S. 186 (LW A267): Adeste Fideles
>Lieutenant Kijé, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60: 4. Troika
>Cinderella, ballet, Op. 87: Cinderella's Waltz
>Sleigh Ride, for orchestra (or string orchestra)

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"Naxos' double-disc compilation, The Very Best of Christmas, presents an agreeable and balanced assortment of holiday favorites, with vocal and choral numbers assigned to the first disc and instrumental and orchestral pieces on the second. The roster of choral performers includes the Worcester Cathedral Choir, the Scholars Baroque Ensemble, the Tewkesbury Abbey Choir, the Elora Festival Singers, and the Choral Arts Society of Washington, among others; the list of orchestral performances by the Leipzig Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Capella Istropolitana, and the Slovak Philaharmonic Orchestra, to name a few, is representative of some of Naxos' leading ensembles from 1987 to 2004... Even though the recordings cover a wide time period and were made in numerous venues, the tracks have been mixed for consistency of tone and evenness of dynamic levels, so if the album is played in the background at holiday gatherings, volume adjustments are unnecessary." -All Music Guide



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