Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


The First Nowell. While shepherds watched their flocks by night. Coventry Carol. Good King Wenceslas. The Holly and the Ivy. Christians, awake!. Once in Royal David's City. O come, all ye Faithful. In Dulci Jubilo. We three Kings of Orient are. Silent Night. Ding Dong! Merrily on high. God rest you merry, gentlemen. On Christmas Night, 'Sussex Carol'. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Brightest and best. O leave your sheep. Bethlehem, of noblest cities. Behold, the Great Creator. It came upon a midnight clear. Good Christian men, rejoice.
The Choir of York Minster/Francis Jackson.
Chandos Collect CHAN6632 [71'03] [ADD]
 Budget Price

All the usual suspects turn up on this disc. Recorded in 1973 and 76, the Choir of York Minster under Francis Jackson with an unnamed organist exemplify the way of the English Cathedral Choir, with clean cut lines and thoughtful, musical phrasing. The disc opens effectively with the processional The First Nowell, which builds to an impressive climax.

Highlights of this disc are the Choir's rendition of Silent Night (an oasis of Yuletide peace), the treble solo in The Holly and the Ivy despite a moment of uncertainty (soloists are uncredited) and a lively unaccompanied Ding Dong! Merrily on high.

The programming means that most of the old favourites are over by track 16 (out of 21) and the attention decidedly sags during Bethlehem, of noblest cities and Behold, the Great Creator. The disc ends with Good Christian men, rejoice, a variant on In Dulci Jubilo. Unfortunately there is a rather ungainly bump on the last chord.

Despite these small reservations, however, this is a wonderful CD that will give you that warm, Christmassy feeling inside.


Colin Clarke

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