One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Joy to the World
see end of review for track listing
The King’s Singers (David Hurley and Timothy Wayne-Wright (counter-tenors), Paul Phoenix (tenor), Philip Lawson and Christopher Gabbitas (baritones), Jonathan Howard (bass))
rec. Cadogan Hall, London, 19 December 2010. DDD

This disc consists of an eclectic mix of Christmas carols, popular Christmas classics, original compositions by British composers and arrangements of traditional tunes, many of which have been prepared by the group’s baritone singer, Philip Lawson and founding bass Brian Kay.
The disc opens with the traditional Christmas spiritual, Rise up Shepherd and Follow, here arranged by the New York-born composer and conductor Carl Davis.This presents an unusual but gloriously refreshing start. While the King’s Singers capture the swing of this spiritual well, immediately apparent is their usual breathy, closely-miked tone.
One notes that this live recording omits much of the applause and audience noises. Overall, sound is good. This is, however, with exception of the last two tracks, Jingle Bells and Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly, in which one can hear audience laughter and applause at the very end. This is a mild irritation.
The ensemble is excellent, as one might expect - as is intonation and communication. In Gaudete, which is taken from a collection of sacred songs, published in 1582 by Reverend Theodoric Petri of Nyland, one finds particularly good enunciation and articulation.
The disc also includes a sound rendition of the lovely Gabriel’s Message, an English Christmas song by Edgar Pettman, based on a traditional Basque tune. Also pleasing is O Little One Sweet,which employs an English version of the traditional German song O Jesulein Süss and includes an effective harmonisation by J. S. Bach; the words are by Percy Dearmer. I was less impressed with Noël Nouvelet, the arrangement of which does nothing to enhance what is a rather lovely song unadorned. Bob Chilcott’s arrangement of What Child is This,whichsets the text to the melody of Greensleeves is also disappointing - here, the King’s Singers’ “do-do-dos” make a predictable but unwelcome appearance. Likewise, the beautiful and simple melody of Lullay my Liking is here presented in an overly-complicated arrangement that obscures the beauty of the basic tune. Such arrangements may well show off the not-inconsiderable talent and skill of the King’s Singers (and also the arranger), yet they are not nearly as effective or as moving as the traditional tunes. The arrangement of Joy to the World is also more complicated than it needs to be. Sadly, there is no information about this popular Christmas hymn in the liner-notes. The booklet itself is attractively presented, and includes words as well as rather brief notes from the artists on the works. I was a little disturbed, however, to find Pettman referred to as Pettiman throughout - in both track-listings and the notes.
The CD concludes with a lively rendition of some traditional Christmas carols - and at this juncture, I’ll stop being a Scrooge and say that Jingle Bells is actually really quite good fun!
Em Marshall-Luck 

See also review by Rob Barnett

Track listing
Traditional, arr. Carl DAVIS (b.1936) Rise up, Shepherd, and Follow [2.40]
Edgar PETTMAN (1866-1943) Gabriel’s Message [2.43]
Traditional, arr. Philip LAWSON (b.1957) Noël Nouvelet [2.25]
Traditional/William CHATTERTON DIX (1837-1898), arr. Bob CHILCOTT (b.1955) What Child is This? [3.17]
Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893), arr. Jeremy LUBBOCK The Crown of Roses [3.06]
Traditional (harmonised by J. S. Bach) O Little One Sweet [2.17]
Philip LAWSON (b.1957) Lullay my Liking [4.25]
Franz GRUBER (1787-1863)/Joseph MOHR (1792-1848), arr. John RUTTER (b. 1945) Stille Nacht [3.22]
June COLLIN/James MORGAN The Quiet Heart [2.29]
John RUTTER (b.1945) There is a Flower [3.43]
Lowell MASON (1792-1872)/Isaac WATTS (1674-1748), arr. Philip LAWSON (b.1957) Joy to the World [2.32]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Sérénade D’hiver [5.17]
Traditional, arr. Geoffrey KEATING and featuring John Julius Norwich’s A Correspondence. The Twelve Days of Christmas [9.02]
Traditional, arr. Brian KAY (b.1944) Gaudete [1.37]
Traditional, arr. Geoffrey KEATING God Rest You Merry Gentleman [2.57]
Katherine K. DAVIS (1892-1980)/Henry ONORATI/Harry SIMEONE (1911-2005), arr. John McCARTHY The Little Drummer Boy
James LORD PIERPONT (1822-1893), arr. Gordon LANGFORD (b.1930) Jingle Bells [1.30]
Traditional/Thomas OLIPHANT (1799-1873), arr. Gordon LANGFORD (b.1930) Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly [2.29]