Christmas from Cambridge
Carols and Christmas Music from Queens' College, Cambridge
This recording brings together some fine choral music from over one thousand years of Christmas celebrations. Familiar ancient carols such as 'The holly and the ivy' mix with medieval music and more recent choral pieces from the twentieth century in a programme sung by one of the Cambridge's finest choirs.
Plainsong is one of the greatest musical resources. Its purity and apparent simplicity have inspired composers over the centuries. In the old English hymn 'A solis ortus cardine' (track 1) the choir sings of the birth of Jesus and of the angels and shepherds of the Christmas story from Bethlehem. The scene is thus set for the rest of the programme. This leads us through a series of medieval and renaissance carols (many transcribed from manuscripts in Cambridge libraries) to recently composed music, including a beautiful piece by Michael Finnissy. 'Ave regina' (track 17) which is based on the words and music of another plainsong hymn.
The Choir of Queens' College, Cambridge Directed by James Weeks, Matthew Steynor, organ
Soprano Joanna Willmott, Rachel Flecker, Natalie Malikova, Caroline Gill, Jo Kilpatrick, Naomi Lovett, Mai King
Alto Christi Burt, Beth Guiton, Helen McKenna, Amy Clemitshaw, Frances Gibson
Tenor John Paul Hoskins, Richard Tiley, Paul Naish, Daniel Oi
Bass Matthew Wilkinson, Jonathan Paxman, Bob Yuncken, Jonathan Dawes, Daniel Clarke
Recorded in the chapel of Queens' College, Cambridge