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Hush, Little Child
Simon Hogan (organ and piano)
Antony Baldwin (organ)
Lynne Hope (recorder)
The Choirs of Southwell Minster/Paul Provost
rec. 2017, Southwell Minster, UK

Heritage presents a disc of Christmas carols by Simon Mold and Antony Baldwin, sung by the choirs of Southwell Minster. Both Mold and Baldwin are accessible tonal composers and have set both traditional and modern seasonal texts. Antony Baldwin was born in London in 1957. His early years were spent as a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. Simon Mold was born in Buxton in 1957 and following success as a treble soloist in the North West became a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral under the legendary Dr Stanley Vann. The performances are given by the highly regarded choirs of Southwell Minster - The Cathedral Choir and The Minster Consort.

Anyone looking for some festive music that is, on the whole, quiet and meditative would be very satisfied with this. I can imagine it being played at a Christmas lunch or social gathering to add some atmosphere to the proceedings. It’s probably not a CD to listen to in one sitting but that applies to all discs of this kind. The settings are very traditional and everything is tonal, easy on the ear and beautifully arranged. The majority of the carols are hushed, reflective and tender in nature. There are no ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ moments but that is meant as an observation rather than as a criticism. The Choirs of Southwell Minster are very polished with fine diction and intonation. They clearly believe in the music and sing with great sincerity. The solos aren’t always immaculate in terms of intonation but these are minor glitches along the way. The recording is just as one would expect from a church. The choirs and organ are set back in a warm but not overly reverberant acoustic. There is plenty of clarity given to the voices and the organ doesn’t dominate the proceedings.

It is good to welcome a compilation to the Christmas catalogue that offers something different to the usual Christmas fare. Running for a generous and enjoyable 70 minutes the disc can be warmly recommended.

John Whitmore

Antony BALDWIN (b.1957)
Chorale Prelude on ‘Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming’
Dormi Jesu
Mr Theo Saunders, His Trumpet Tune
There is no Rose
Simon MOLD (b.1957)
Adventus Christi (arr. from Handel)
At Bethlehem
Candlelight Carol
Children at the Manger
Full of joy, in sweet accord
Hush, little child
Lo, He comes, an infant stranger
Lullaby for the Christ Child
Mary's Cradle Song
Mary and the Wise Men
Rejoice, Rejoice Jerusalem (arr. from Praetorius)
Roxburghe Carol (arr. Simon Mold)
The Angel Gabriel (arr. Antony Baldwin)


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