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A Winter's Light - A Christmas Collection / Martin Ford, organ; Vasari Singers, Jeremy Backhouse

Album Summary

>Chilcott, Robert : On Christmas Night, carol cycle
>Traditional, Christmas : Gabriel's Message (Basque)
>Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon : Hodie Christus natus est
>Praetorious, Michael : Musae Sioniae
>Howells, Herbert : Carol-Anthems (3) for Chorus
>Villette, Pierre : Hymne à la Vierge, Op 24
>Willcocks, David, Sir : Of the Father's Heart Begotten, hymn setting for chorus & organ
>Gabrieli, Giovanni : Hodie Christus natus est, motet for 10 voices
>Davies, Henry Walford : O Little Town of Bethlehem, carol
>Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong : The Stable Door, carol for chorus
>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noel for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chretiens," "O Holy Night")
>Darke, Harold Edwin : In the Bleak Midwinter
>Jackson, Gabriel : The Christ-Child, for chorus
>Rutter, John : Nativity Carol
>Pierpont, James : Jingle Bells
>Chilcott, Robert : Christmas-tide, carol for chorus & piano
>Lake, Greg : I Believe in Father Christmas, song
>Rathbone, Jonathan : Carol Medley, for chorus
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The Vasari Singers' annual carol concerts always provide a warming blend of traditional favorites and less well-known music from all periods and styles. Here, joyous and masterful 16th-century polyphony sits alongside eternally popular Victorian carols, and exquisitely crafted settings by Howells and Walford Davies join works as recent as Gabriel Jackson's The Christ-child. Bob Chilcott magically superimposes traditional carols with entrancing new material, and no Vasari Christmas would be complete without some close harmony Swingle singing. The Vasari Singers have also recorded Gabriel Jackson's Requiem (8573049).

International Record Review
The arrangements are sensational and one is in awe before a choir that can turn in magnificent performances of the most serious and taxing works ain the repertoire, yet is able to turn its collective hand, with slickness that defies description, to entertaining showstoppers such as [the Swingle Singers close harmony arrangements]

BBC Music Magazine
Jonathan Rathbone's energetically bouncing arrangement of Gabriel's message is a good place to sample the Vasari Singers' warmly engaged performances, and they impress also in the tricky, undulating chant figurations at the beginning of Howells's Sing Lullaby.

MusicWeb International, November 2012
I found [the Gibbs] utterly beguiling and count it as a real discovery...The Vasari Singers always close their Christmas concerts with some seasonal sweetmeats, as they do here...the standard of singing throughout the programme is very high indeed - as we've come to expect from this fine ensemble.

American Record Guide, November/December 2013
This is a handsome Christmas anthology that has something for everyone. For holiday standards, there are lovely performances of 'Little Town of Bethlehem', 'Of the Father's Heart Begotten', 'In the Bleak Mid-Winter' and, best of all, JE West's gorgeously slushy arrangement of 'O Holy Night'. The gentle writings of Bob Chilcott and John Rutter add to the seasonal glow. Best of all is Jan Sandstrom's take on 'Es ist ein Ros', which takes the "thousand points of light" cliche and turns it into sound. For fun, there's a hyper-rhythmic 'Jingle Bells', and a final 'Carol Medley' that keeps the tunes and rhythms swingling every which way. Gabrieli's 'Hodie Christus Natus Est' bounces along pleasantly enough. It's all well recorded, and the booklet contains everything it should, including translations. They do everything they can to make one happen.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012).



Reviews

Mesmerizing. Magnificent. Heavenly.
I adore this disc. It is instantly my favorite Christmas disc of the year.
Submitted on 12/13/12 by DanL 
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Works Details

>Chilcott, Robert : On Christmas Night, carol cycle :: This is the truth
  • Performer: Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Ensemble: Vasari Singers
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2010

>Traditional, Christmas : Gabriel's Message (Basque)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1582

>Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon : Hodie Christus natus est
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1619

>Praetorious, Michael : Musae Sioniae
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1600

>Howells, Herbert : Carol-Anthems (3) for Chorus
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918

>Villette, Pierre : Hymne à la Vierge, Op 24
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1954

>Chilcott, Robert : On Christmas Night, carol cycle :: Sweet was the song
  • Performer: Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2010

>Willcocks, David, Sir : Of the Father's Heart Begotten, hymn setting for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral

>Gabrieli, Giovanni : Hodie Christus natus est, motet for 10 voices
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Chilcott, Robert : On Christmas Night, carol cycle :: Rejoice and be merry
  • Performer: Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2010

>Davies, Henry Walford : O Little Town of Bethlehem, carol
  • Performers: Martin Ford (Organ); Susan Watson
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1920

>Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong : The Stable Door, carol for chorus
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1933

>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noël for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chrétiens," "O Holy Night")
  • Performer: Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1851

>Darke, Harold Edwin : In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Performers: Paul Robertson; Alysha Paterson; Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 19th Century

>Jackson, Gabriel : The Christ-Child, for chorus
  • Performer: Alysha Paterson
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Rutter, John : Nativity Carol
  • Performer: Martin Ford (Organ)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1963

>Pierpont, James : Jingle Bells
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1850

>Chilcott, Robert : Christmas-tide, carol for chorus & piano
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1997

>Lake, Greg : I Believe in Father Christmas, song
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Rathbone, Jonathan : Carol Medley, for chorus
  • Performers: Dan Burges; Martin Ford (Organ); Fiona McWilliams (Soprano); Matthew Wood (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Jeremy Backhouse
  • Notes: Tonbridge School Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (02/10/2012-02/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary