Released October 2008 (Hyperion CDA67716)
Works by Leighton, Poulenc, Rutter and Walton feature in this delightful and unusual selection of music for Christmas.
Anon arr. Pearsall In dulci jubilo
Poulenc Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël
Leighton A Christmas Caroll
Walton All this time
Rutter Dormi, Jesu
Chilcott The Shepherd’s Carol
Dove The Three Kings
Anon arr. Cleobury Joys Seven
Gruber Stille Nacht
Anon arr. O’Donnell I saw three ships
Head The little road to Bethlehem
Mathias Ave Rex
This seasonal offering from the Abbey Choir presents a delightful and unusual selection of music for Christmas. It encompasses many of the diverse themes of Christmas which have inspired composers across the ages: light shining in darkness; the tenderness of mother and child; the fulfilment of promise; and the warm merriment of corporate celebration.
An excellent selection of contemporary carols features the composers Jonathan Dove and Bob Chilcott among others. The richness of twentieth-century church music is illustrated in works by Poulenc, Walton, Mathias and Leighton, and by the heartbreakingly lovely piece The little road to Bethlehem by Michael Head. Skilful arrangements of the traditional carols Silent night, In dulci jubilo and I saw three ships, complete this attractive programme.
James O’Donnell conductor
Robert Quinney organ
The Choir of Westminster Abbey
"The best newly recorded Christmas CD by a country mile … terrific."
- The Mail on Sunday
"The Abbey choir's splendid performance … an ambitious and superbly sung programme, sympathetically framed within the choir's spaciously atmospheric home acoustic."
- BBC Music Magazine
"A must-have addition to any choral collection."
- Choir & Organ
It’s very hard not to be enthusiastic working at the Abbey. If this place doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will.