Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A winning formula for Christmas

The new Novum Christmas CD Nowell Sing We! from Robert Quinney and his Choir of New College Oxford is in the classic English choral tradition, long-established but not conventional, with the highest standards of singing, lovely solo voices, full acoustics, and arrangements that provide both the comfort of the familiar, and the excitement of the novel (to North American ears at least). Quinney has chosen Advent and Christmas songs that range from the simple and folk-like (Charles Ives' A Christmas carol) to the more sophisticated (Richard Rodney Bennett's intense setting of In the Bleak Midwinter), with some requisite standards (Quinney's fine arrangement of  O come, O come Emmanuel, and Vaughan Williams' O Little Town of Bethlehem). A winning formula!

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