Christmas from Cambridge

Christmas from Cambridge

Ref: CDG1023

CCL CDG1023

Christmas from Cambridge
Carols and Christmas Music from Queens' College, Cambridge

1 A solis ortus cardine
Plainsong - Sarum chant
2 Verbum patris umanatur
Plainsong
3 Nowell: Dieus vous garde
Richard Smart (fl. 1428-77)
4 Estampie from the Robertsbridge Codex
Played by James Weeks
5 Ther is no rose of swych vertu
Fifteenth century
6 Lullay, lullow: I saw a swete semly syght
Fifteenth century
7 Swete was the song the Virgine soong
Arranged Thomas Hammond
8 Lullaby, my sweet little baby
William Byrd
9 A fancy
William Byrd
Played by Matthew Steynor
10 Bethlehem Down
Peter Warlock
11 Silent Night
Arranged Alan Ridout
12 Long, long ago
Herbert Howells
13 All this time
William Walton
14 The holly and the ivy
Arranged H Walford Davies
15 What cheer?
William Walton
16 Toccata on 'Veni Emmanuel'
Played by Matthew Steynor
17 Ave regina coelorum
Michael Finnissy
18 The fader if heven
Peter Maxwell Davies
19 Verbum supernum
Plainsong

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