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Celestial Harmonies
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Fünf CDs mit europäischer Musik vom Mittelalter bis heute, die thematisch zu Weihnachten passt, gespielt und gesungen von weltbekannten Interpreten wie dem Concentus musicus, Alsfelder Vokalensemble, Worcester Cathedral Choir, Gustav Leonhardt, Franz Lehrndorfer u.a.

Der Worcester Cathedral Choir singt 20 angelsächsische, amerikanische und deutsche Weihnachtslieder.

the project

The glorious body of music written specifically for the Christmas season is unparalleled in Western civilization; no other event or time of year is as inextricably linked with music, especially with music of such quiet strength and emotion. Some traditional Christmas melodies like The Coventry Carol from England or Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head from the American Appalachian mountains (both included on this release) are enjoyed throughout the year; but for most listeners, these pieces conjure up the intimate and powerful sentiments of Christmas—the falling snow, a warm home, family, and friends.

One of the biggest challenges with Christmas recordings is deciding what to include and what to omit. Celestial Harmonies has found an elegant solution—adding a volume to the Celestial Christmas series each year. The fourth CD in the series builds on the popular collections of sacred Renaissance and Baroque works of the first three volumes and branches out to include some later works. Included are some of the world's most beloved Christmas melodies—Away In A Manger, Silent Night, Holy Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, and several other favorites—side by side with some of the greatest composers of Western music. Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, and Gustav Holst all wrote heartfelt musical tributes to the Christmas season.

Most Christmas traditions that we know come from three sources: Germany, England, and the United States. Appropriately, Celestial Christmas 4 focuses on the music of these three countries. The earliest works were collected and published in sixteenth century England, and probably date from medieval times. The most recent are the famous adaptations of Appalachian tunes by the pre–eminent American musicologist John Jacob Niles, published in the 1930s. In addition, traditional Christmas carols from France, Ireland, and Czechoslovakia are included. As with earlier Celestial Christmas recordings, this volume offers a carefully chosen progression of sounds and moods. Like so much music of the Christmas season, these works have an unusually broad appeal, naturally and gracefully bridging the gap between classical and popular music.

the artists

The instrument probably most associated with Christmas is the voice; therefore, this recording features the voice—many voices in fact, massed together and taking part in the age–old English tradition of choral music. The renowned Worcester Cathedral Choir performs this collection of moving seasonal classics under the direction of Dr. Donald Hunt

tracklist

1 Joy to the World 1'29"
2 Once in Royal David's City 3'21"
3 O Little Town of Bethlehem 4'34"
4 The Cherry Tree Carol 2'48"
5 In the Bleak Midwinter 3'39"
6 Sing Aloud 2'17"
7 Away in a Manger 3'10"
8 Joy's Seven 2'34"
9 I Wonder As I Wander 3'34"
10 Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head 3'26"
11 In Dulci Jubilo (Now Sing We, Now Rejoice) 3'43"
12 O Little Sweet One 1'59"
13 Rocking Carol 1'40"
14 Ding Dong, Merrily on High 2'04"
15 O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) 3'42"
16 The Coventry Carol (Lullay, Thou Little Tiny Child) 4'02"
17 As I Outrode 1'23"
18 Unto Us is Born a Son (Puer Nobis Nascitor) 1'57"
19 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 2'57"
20 Silent Night, Holy Night 4'32"
  Total Time: 61'42"