Vaughan Williams: The First Nowell / Hickox, City of London SInfonia

Regular price $20.99
Added to Cart! View cart or continue shopping.

Ralph Vaiughan Williams loved Christmas and had a lifelong passion for carols, admiring their freshness, beauty, and nobility. Vaughan Williams' seasonal compositions reflect his love of Christmas in general and of carols in particular.

The Fantasia on Christmas Carols was dedicated to Cecil Sharp and is based on four traditional English carols. This is the first recording of the alternative scoring.

On Christmas Night was originally called A Christmas Carol as it was a free adaptation of Dicken's story of the same name. The work receives its premiere recording on this release. The score is very atmospheric and juxtaposes complex melodies with simple folk tunes, and interspersed with carols.

The First Nowell is a nativity play for soloists, chorus, and small orchestra. A number of traditional tunes are included in Vaughan Williams's arrangement such as On Christmas Night, The Cherry Tree Carol, and God rest you merry.


This recording is most evocative of an English Christmas. Roderick Williams’s beautifully rounded tone has a glow, while the CLS strings and the Joyful Company of Singers provide a sensitive, nuanced accompaniment.

-- Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Release Date: October 03, 2006

  • Catalog Number: CHAN 10385

  • UPC: 095115138526

  • Label: Chandos

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

  • Conductor: Richard Hickox

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: City of London Sinfonia, Joyful Company of Singers

  • Performer: Joseph Cullen, Roderick Williams, Sarah Fox


  1. Fantasia on Christmas Carols

    Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Ensemble: City of London SInfonia, Joyful Company Singers

    Performer: Roderick Williams (Baritone)

    Conductor: Richard Hickox

  2. On Christmas Night

    Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Ensemble: City of London SInfonia

    Conductor: Richard Hickox

  3. The First Nowell

    Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Ensemble: City of London SInfonia

    Performer: Sarah Fox (Soprano), Roderick Williams (Baritone)

    Conductor: Richard Hickox