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The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album

The Cambridge Singers | City of London Sinfonia
John Rutter (conductor)


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One of the only Christmas albums you'll ever need.

John Rutter selects some of his favourite Christmas carols, old and new, from classic Cambridge Singers recordings, including several of his own arrangements and never-before-released gems, closing with Vaughan Williams’ majestic Fantasia on Christmas Carols.

Track list

  1. The holly and the ivy (arr. Walford Davies)
  2. Blessed by that maid Mary (arr. Willcocks)
  3. Somerset Wassail (arr. Rutter)
  4. Shepherds, in the field abiding (arr. Willcocks)
  5. The Infant King (arr. Willcocks)
  6. What is this lovely fragrance? (arr. Willan)
  7. Gabriel's message (arr. Willcocks)
  8. Still, still, still (arr. Rutter)
  9. Quittez, pasteurs (arr. Rutter)
  10. Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle (arr. Rutter)
  11. Personent hodie (arr. Rutter)
  12. The shepherds' farewell (Berlioz)
  13. O holy night (Adolphe Adam)
  14. O magnum mysterium (Victoria)
  15. Hodie Christus natus est (Sweelinck)
  16. For unto us a child is born (Handel)
  17. In dulci jubilo (Scheidt)
  18. Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child (Leighton)
  19. A New Year Carol (Britten)
  20. Balulalow (Warlock)
  21. I saw a fair maiden (Warlock)
  22. The Lamb (Tavener)
  23. Fantasia on Christmas Carols (Vaughan Williams)

“John Rutter brings conviction to this robust reading and Stephen Varcoe adds much to the emotional dimension. The programme of carols is an attractive plus.” Gramophone

“This is the holiday disc of the year, a slice of merry old English tradition at its best” AllMusic

“The Cambridge Singers, at a perfect size between chamber choir and distant, vast cathedral group, sound both beautifully precise and sweetly lyrical under Rutter’s baton. Rutter also contributes another of the disc’s most attractive features; his liner notes are packed with enjoyable information and trivia that illuminate something of the paths familiar carols took to public consciousness, of how today’s corpus of Christmas carols resulted from the combined efforts of folklorists, choir leaders, and compiler/editors of years past.”

“Like so much of the best Christmas music,” writes Rutter, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia “seems to encompass both mystery and joy.” Much the same might be said of this top-notch seasonal collection, accessible to all yet filled with subtleties for the discerning.” AllMusic

“Carols and Christmas music have always formed a part of the Cambridge Singers repertoire, and this album picks out some of director John Rutter’s personal favourites. The collection comprises carols in four categories: English traditional carols, such as The Somerset Wassail; European traditional carols; choruses and motets, including Berlioz’s The Shepherds’ Farewell, Adam’s O Holy Night, de Victoria’s O Magnum Mysterium which is the oldest song in the album, and Handel’s For unto us a child is born.  The closing category is Composer’s Carols with pieces by Leighton, Britten Warlock, Tavener and, to conclude, Vaughan Williams’ epic Fantasia on Christmas Carols.  The musicianship is superb throughout and I doubt if there will be a better Christmas album released this year.” Cross Rhythms

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