We are delighted to present our second album, Christmas (2019).
About the CD
For centuries Christmas and the surrounding seasons have inspired composers to new heights of invention. This programme reaches across the ages, from the eternal beauty of the Tudor church right up to the twenty-first century, with each piece chosen to evoke a sense of mystery and joy.
In the Renaissance, Advent—the weeks preceding the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas—was a time of wonder and reflection. Centuries-old carols tell this story, with some works presented here in their inherited form, others reimagined by skilled arrangers. Pieces that focus on the birth of Christ form the backbone of this collection: Thomas Hardy’s tableau of the scene on Christmas Eve is particularly striking, alongside music that heralds the baby’s arrival and offers insight into the first few weeks of Jesus’s life. Themes and forms are echoed through the ages: two lullabies, though written centuries apart, employ coaxing refrains to be sung to disquieted children; some of the most exquisite melodies are found in works dedicated to Mary.
I hope that we have managed to capture something of the festive spirit, with moments of stillness set against joyful exuberance. It is music that we thoroughly enjoy singing—we all feel a certain magic when we revisit this repertoire towards the end of each year.
Owain Park © 2019
Veni Emmanuel Anonymous, arr. Philip Lawson (b.1957)
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland a 6 Michael Praetorius (1571 – 1621)
The Annunciation Jonathan Harvey (1939 – 2012)
Videte Miraculum Thomas Tallis (c.1505 – 1585)
The Promised Light of Life Cheryl Frances-Hoad (b.1980)
Gaudete Trad. arr. Brian Kay (b.1944)
The Truth Sent from Above arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1958) & Owain Park (b.1993)
Es Ist ein’ Ros’ Entsprungen Trad., harm. Michael Praetorius
Angelus ad virginem Anon.
Lullay my liking Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934)
There is a flower John Rutter (b.1945)
Canite tuba Jacob Handl (1550 – 1591)
There is no rose Anon.
Verbum caro factum est Hans Leo Hassler (1564 – 1612)
Coventry Carol Anonymous – traditional
On the Infancy of our Saviour Owain Park
Love came down at Christmas Eleanor Daley (b.1955)
In dulci jubilo Praetorius arr. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
The oxen Jonathan Rathbone (b.1957)
Away in a manger – Cradle Song arr. Philip Lawson
Jingle Bells James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893), arr. Gordon Langford (1930-2017)