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Fear and Rejoice, O People - Music for Advent and Christmas

Album Summary

>Howells, Herbert : Carol-Anthems (3) for Chorus
>Tavener, John : Fear and rejoice o people, for chorus
>Robinson, Christopher : Unto us is born a son, for chorus & organ
>Gardner, John Linton : Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, for chorus, Op. 75/2
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Traditional English Carols (8)
>Rutter, John : There is a flower
>Ledger, Philip [Organ] : On Christmas Night
>Warlock, Peter [Composer] : As Dew in Aprylle
>Oldham, Arthur : Remember, O Thou Man
>Lewis, Geraint : A Little Hymn to Mary, for chorus & organ
>Robinson, Christopher : Hereford Carol, for chorus & organ
>Gorecki, Henryk M. : Totus tuus, for chorus, Op. 60
>Warlock, Peter [Composer] : Benedicamus Domino, for double chorus
>Poston, Elisabeth : Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Wassail Song ("We've been awhile awandering"), song for chorus (English Folksongs for chorus no 5;
>Milner, Anthony : Out of Your Sleep Arise, for chorus & organ
>Howells, Herbert : Here is the little door
>Dyson, George : Evening Service in F major
>Tavener, John : A Hymn to the Mother of God
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"The magnificent choral sound of the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, is well documented in their numerous recordings...The sound is homogenous, controlled, and a joy to hear...The real gems [here] are the two works by Tavener and the Gorecki...Both are heavily influenced by the mysticism of the Orthodox Church...This is a sumptuous recording that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys good choral singing and interesting repertoire." -Bond, ARG

Notes & Reviews:

This collection of Christmas music, sung by the St. John's College Choir, Cambridge, conducted by Christopher Robinson, consists largely of modern British works. Totus tuus, by Henryk Górecki, is the only work not written by a British composer, and several folk song settings and some medieval carols are the only works that pre-date the 20th century. The collection includes a nice mixture of familiar and unfamiliar repertoire. Some of the less well-known works, such as Howells' Here is the little door and Geraint Lewis' A little hymn to Mary, are (little) gems that deserve wider exposure. John Tavener's Fear and Rejoice, O People, on the other hand, ought to have a warning label attached; it easily qualifies for being on the short list of The Most Annoying Pieces Ever Written. It starts with a perfectly nice melody in the low basses, over a drone. Tavener then proceeds to repeat it, modulating up a whole step with each repetition, until it reaches the screechy stratosphere of the boy sopranos, at which point he sends the melody back to the basses and starts the whole process over again. Fear indeed, O People. The choir's performance is spirited, and it obviously has much of this repertoire in its blood. It's most successful in the standard British works, like the Howells, Vaughan Williams, Warlock, and Rutter, and its performance of John Gardner's Tomorrow shall be my dancing day is especially delightful: exuberant and subversively sly. The sound is nicely balanced and the level of resonance is good. The CD should be of interest to listeners looking for solid performances of Christmas music from off the beaten track. ~ Stephen Eddins



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Works Details

>Howells, Herbert : Carol-Anthems (3) for Chorus
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1918

>Tavener, John : Fear and rejoice o people, for chorus
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 7 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1997

>Robinson, Christopher : Unto us is born a son, for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Gardner, John Linton : Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, for chorus, Op. 75/2
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1965

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Traditional English Carols (8)
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 2 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1919

>Rutter, John : There is a flower
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 4 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1986

>Ledger, Philip [Organ] : On Christmas Night
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Warlock, Peter [Composer] : As Dew in Aprylle
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1918

>Oldham, Arthur : Remember, O Thou Man
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Lewis, Geraint : A Little Hymn to Mary, for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 4 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1995

>Robinson, Christopher : Hereford Carol, for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (Composer) (1933 - 2010) : Totus tuus, for chorus, Op. 60
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 7 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1987

>Warlock, Peter [Composer] : Benedicamus Domino, for double chorus
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 1 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1918

>Poston, Elisabeth : Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Wassail Song ("We've been awhile awandering"), song for chorus (English Folksongs for chorus no 5;
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 3 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1913

>Milner, Anthony : Out of Your Sleep Arise, for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Howells, Herbert : Here is the little door
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 3 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1918

>Dyson, George : Evening Service in F major :: Magnificat
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 3 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral

>Tavener, John : A Hymn to the Mother of God :: A Hymn to the Mother of God
  • Performers: Cambridge St. John's College Choir; Iain Farrington (Organ)
  • Conductor: Christopher Robinson
  • Ensemble: St. John's College Choir, Cambridge
  • Running Time: 2 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985