My First Christmas Album

Release Date: 11/11/2016
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 8578340
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$11.99
Video
Notes and Editorial Reviews

Can you imagine Christmas without music? No singing, no jingling. Only Scrooge would be happy with that! It is a time for music to fill the air. Part of the fun is hearing things that are only played at Christmas and at no other time of year - carols that make you think of the end of term, or the holidays or bobble hats - songs that make you think of food, or snow, or stockings. Here are some of the most popular carols, as well as some other surprises...Merry Christmas!



REVIEW:

I have always been a great believer in the importance of presenting music of the highest possible quality regardless of the potential audience. This is done here — for the adult listener there is real interest and fascination in hearing such a wide range of choral styles.

I loved the predictably fine Lutoslawski/ Antoni Wit Polish National RSO & Choir Hurrying to Bethlehem. Again quite a different choral tone. Otto Kotilainen’s Finnish Kun Joulu on is something of a discovery beautifully performed—a lighter tone than the Polish choir but very expressive by the Finnish choir Chorus Resonus. Another virtuoso vocal group prove to be La Petite Bande de Montreal who contribute a brief but virtuosic Carol of the Bells. Jeremy Summerly’s Oxford Camerata are suitably vigorous in the Medieval Gaudete Christus est natus. As indeed is For Unto us from the Messiah from Edward Higginbottom, the Academy of Ancient Music and Oxford New College Choir. This is a delightfully sprung and sprightly version of an old favourite. Most of the carols are sung with little or no accompaniment other than the expected organ or keyboard. This makes the full orchestral version of Vaughan Williams’ Wassail Song particularly enjoyable.

So all in all a disc of palpable hits in terms of music and performance, and certainly something for the stocking of a young relative. No texts or translations are included. Well done to Naxos for producing a disc of great entertainment value but without compromising the artistic merit of it either.

–MusicWeb International

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1. Once in Royal David's City by Henry John Gauntlett
Performer: Robert Stringer (Treble), Raymond Johnston (Organ)
Conductor: Donald Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble: Worcester Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic
Written: 19th Century ; England
2. Thredbo Suite for Flute, Clarinet & Piano: No. 3, Sleigh Ride to Thredbo by John Carmichael
Conductor: Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Concert Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1980 ; England
3. We three kings by John Henry Hopkins Jr.
Conductor: Antony Pitts
Orchestra/Ensemble: Tonus Peregrinus
Period: 20th Century
4. Sans Day Carol by Traditional
Conductor: Andrew Sackett
Orchestra/Ensemble: Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir
5. Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1934 ; USA
6. The Holly and the Ivy by Traditional
Conductor: Andrew Sackett
Orchestra/Ensemble: Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir
7. Messiah, HWV 56: For unto us a child is born by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
8. Esta bella noche by Luis Eduardo Galián
Performer: Mats-Erik Björklund (Congas), Mats Norrefalk (Guitar), Stefan Bäcklund (Double Bass), Mats Nyström (Percussion)
Conductor: Fred Sjöberg
Orchestra/Ensemble: Örebo Kammarkör
9. Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 8 "Christmas Concerto": Pastorale by Arcangelo Corelli
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
10. King Jesus hath a garden by Traditional
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
11. A Ceremony of Carols, for treble voices (or chorus) & harp, Op. 28: This little babe by Benjamin Britten
Performer: Skaila Kanga (Harp )
Conductor: Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble: New London Children's Choir
Period: Modern
Written: 1942 ;
12. In the bleak mid-winter by Harold Edwin Darke
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1911 ; England
13. Good King Wenceslas by Traditional
Conductor: Andrew Sackett
Orchestra/Ensemble: Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir
14. Jingle Bells by James Pierpont
Conductor: Alfred Walter
Period: Romantic
Written: 1857 ; USA
15. Carol of the Bells by Traditional
Conductor: Martin Dagenais
Orchestra/Ensemble: La Petite Bande de Montreal
16. Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble: Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1892 ; Russia
17. Tomorrow shall be my dancing day by John Rutter
Performer: John Evanson (Piano)
Conductor: Grace Rossiter
Orchestra/Ensemble: Finchley Children's Music Group
Period: 20th Century
18. Gaudete, Christus est natus by Traditional
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Orchestra/Ensemble: Oxford Camerata
Period: Medieval
19. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Johnny Marks
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1949 ; USA
20. Away in a manger by William James Kirkpatrick
Performer: Raymond Johnston (Organ)
Conductor: Donald Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble: Worcester Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century
21. Polish Christmas Carols (20): no 7, Hurrying to Bethlehem by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor: Antoni Wit
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1946 ; Poland
22. When it's christmas by Otto Kotilainen
Conductor: Sauli Hannuksela
Orchestra/Ensemble: Chorus Resonus
23. Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
Period: Classical
Written: 1818 ; Austria
24. Noëls (3), H 531: no 3, Vous qui désirez sans fin by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor: Kevin Mallon
Orchestra/Ensemble: Aradia Ensemble
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1690 ;
25. A maiden most gentle by Traditional
Conductor: Andrew Sackett
Orchestra/Ensemble: Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir
26. Wassail Song by Traditional
Period: Renaissance
Written: 16th Century ; England
27. Nutcracker, Op. 71: no 12d, Act 2 - Russian Dance "Trepak" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble: Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1891-1892 ; Russia
28. Unto us is born a son by Traditional
Performer: Raymond Johnston (Organ)
Conductor: Donald Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble: Worcester Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1582 ;
29. Ding Dong! Merrily on high by Traditional
Conductor: Noel Edison
Orchestra/Ensemble: Elora Festival Singers
Period: Renaissance
Written: 16th Century ; France
30. Rocking by Traditional
Performer: Raymond Johnston (Organ)
Conductor: Donald Hunt
Orchestra/Ensemble: Worcester Cathedral Choir
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