Hodie - An English Christmas Collection / The Sixteen

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If you own The Sixteen's 20th Century Christmas Collection (on now-defunct Collins), you have most of the works included on this reissue offered by the choir's own Coro label. The difference is that Britten's A Ceremony of Carols (also previously issued on Collins in The Sixteen's Britten series) appears here instead of Peter Maxwell Davies' O magnum mysterium, a move that certainly makes for a more marketable package. If you don't have the original, this program features many of what have become classics of modern Christmas choral repertoire, among them Howells' A spotless rose, Warlock's Balulalow, Britten's A Hymn to the Virgin, Tavener's The Lamb, and Gardner's setting of Tomorrow shall be my dancing day. But Kenneth Leighton's Coventry Carol is a rarely heard masterpiece, as is Warlock's Corpus Christi--and Rubbra's short The Virgin's Cradle Song and Peter Fricker's similarly brief A babe is born are well worth repeated hearings. This Ceremony of Carols is arguably the finest in the catalog (at least among performances with women's voices), and throughout the disc there is consistently top-notch ensemble singing and solo work of the highest order. The sound is identical to the exceptional quality of the initial releases. An essential disc for any choral and Christmas music library. [10/19/2002]--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Release Date: October 01, 2001

  • Catalog Number: COR16004

  • UPC: 828021600425

  • Label: Coro

  • Composer: Benjamin Britten, Edmund Rubbra, Herbert Howells, John Gardner, John Tavener, Kenneth Leighton, Peter Hayward, Peter Racine Fricker, Peter Warlock, Sir William Walton

  • Conductor: Harry Christophers

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: The Sixteen

  • Performer: Ben Hoffnung, Christopher Royall, Libby Crabtree, Margaret Phillips, Neil MacKenzie, Nicola Jenkin, Patricia Forbes, Robin Jeffrey, Ruth Dean, Sally Dunkley, Simon Birchall, Sioned Williams, William Lockhart