Carols from Chelsea

Somm: SOMM0161

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Carols from Chelsea

Label:

Somm

Catalogue No:

SOMM0161

Discs:

1

Release date:

28th Oct 2016

Barcode:

0748871016125

Length:

71 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Carols from Chelsea


Adam:

O Holy Night

Anderson, Leroy:

Sleigh Ride

Bach, J S:

Chorale Prelude BWV729 'In dulci jubilo'

Berlin, I:

White Christmas

Brahms:

Chorale Prelude Op. 122 No. 8 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen'

Darke:

In the Bleak Midwinter

Gardner, John:

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

Gauntlett:

Once in Royal David's city

Gruber, F:

Stille Nacht

Head, M:

The Little Road to Bethlehem

Howells:

A Spotless Rose

Ireland:

The Holy Boy

Pott:

Hodie Christus natus est

Rutter:

Dormi, Jesu

trad.:

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

O little town of Bethlehem

Ding dong! merrily on high

Vaughan Williams:

The truth sent from above

Warlock:

Benedicamus Domino


James Orford (organ)

The Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, William Vann

CD

$11.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

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SOMM celebrates Christmas this year with Carols from Chelsea, a delicious offering from the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea under their Director, William Vann. The Royal Hospital, founded in 1682 by Charles II, is the home of the iconic Chelsea Pensioners, who are all retired soldiers of the British Army. The Chapel Choir sings for the Sunday morning Matins service in the Royal Hospital’s Wren Chapel during the year, but in December provides the music for carol services and other Christmas-themed events almost every day. This recording showcases some of the Choir’s most cherished carol repertoire, alongside solo organ music performed by the Royal Hospital’s Organ Scholar, James Orford, and a very special performance with Chelsea Pensioner George Hatton. George is known for his occasional singing in the Chelsea Pensioners’ Club in the evening, and during December he has been known to join forces with the choir for a song or two. It was one of those moments that gave them the idea to record something with him on this album and the last track, White Christmas, could hardly have ended the disc more joyously! This is the first professional recording George has ever made. And, at the age of 88, it gave him great pleasure to sing with such a wonderful choir. Many of the Royal Hospital’s carol services begin with Franz Gruber’s spine-tingling carol Stille Nacht, an especially moving carol to hear in the original German, given its celebrated performance in the trenches on Christmas Day, 1914. Once in Royal David’s City is the first of three carols that are usually sung with the full congregation, opening with the famous solo that captures the mood of Christmas like nothing else. In between that and Irving Berlin’s wonderfully un-wintry White Christmas, performed here in a new arrangement by Jim Clements, we hear mostly the work of English composers, from the Renaissance-era genius William Byrd to the contemporary composers Francis Pott and John Rutter. British organist Thomas Trotter’s arrangement of Leroy Anderson’s light-music classic Sleigh Ride leads us into John Gardner’s thrilling setting of the old text Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day, the side drum part played on one of the Royal Hospital’s beautifully decorated instruments.

Franz Xaver Gruber: Stille Nacht (Silent Night) (arr. D. Cashmore)

Stille Nacht (Silent Night) (arr. D. Cashmore for choir)

Henry John Gauntlett: Once in Royal David's City (arr. D. Willcocks for choir)

Once in Royal David's City (arr. D. Willcocks for choir)

Ralph Vaughan Williams: 8 Traditional English Carols

8 Traditional English Carols: No. 6. Truth Sent from Above

Johann Sebastian Bach: In dulci jubilo, BWV 729

In dulci jubilo, BWV 729

Herbert Howells: A Spotless Rose (Live)

A Spotless Rose

William Byrd: O magnum misterium

O magnum misterium

John Rutter: Dormi, Jesu

Dormi, Jesu

Francis Pott: Hodie Christus natus est

Hodie Christus natus est

Traditional: God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (arr. D. Willocks for choir)

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (arr. D. Willocks for choir)

Peter Warlock: Benedicamus Domino

Benedicamus Domino

Johannes Brahms: 11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122

11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122: No. 8. Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

Harold Darke: In the Bleak Mid-Winter

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Traditional: Ding Dong! Merrily on High (arr. M. Wilberg for chorus and organ)

Ding Dong! Merrily on High (arr. M. Wilberg for chorus and organ)

Adolphe Adam: O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel) (arr. for voice, choir and orchestra)

Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night)

John Ireland: Holy Boy

Holy Boy (A Carol of the Nativity)

Michael Head: The Little Road to Bethlehem

The Little Road To Bethlehem

Traditional: O Little Town of Bethlehem (R. Vaughan Williams and T. Armstrong)

O Little Town of Bethlehem (arr. R. Vaughan Williams and T. Armstrong for choir)

Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride (arr. T. Trotter for organ)

Sleigh Ride (arr. T. Trotter for organ)

John Gardner: Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, Op. 75, No. 2

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, Op. 75, No. 2

Irving Berlin: Holiday Inn: White Christmas (arr. J. Clements for choir)

Holiday Inn: White Christmas (arr. J. Clements for choir)

The Guardian

18th December 2016

“Under the meticulous direction of William Vann, their reading of Howells’s A Spotless Rose is, well, spotless, while John Rutter’s Dormi, Jesu is saved from schmaltz and sung with the sweet, gentle grace it deserves.”

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