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Carolling from Windsor


Priory Records  PRCD 671

Record Box


Windsor's Royal Chapel of St George parallels English cathedrals in its musical resources: boys and men singing the daily offices. Occasionally a CD is released, always providing a good spread of known and unknown music.

Christmas Joy. Copyright (c) 1999 Priory Records Ltd.Their recent Christmas CD duly follows a pattern, from, say, Harold Darke's In the bleak midwinter to more recent carols, which include a winsome conception of Dormi Jesu by Clive Watkiss, an unusually textured Rosamundi by Malcolm Hawkins composing both words and music [listen to 'Rosamundi'] and Denys Darlow with Houseman's poem The Maker of Sun and Moon. Choir cupboards everywhere must be bulging with carols, the output of a tireless industry that appears to be endlessly searching for gold.

Oddly enough, a Polish carol that George Thalben-Ball discovered and harmonised years back is included here, the first time I have spotted it on a record. I had a hand in its publishing convinced that it would yield a bright future. Maybe its time has come? [Listen to 'A Polish Lullaby'].

When all is said and done, the Feast of the Nativity without music seems diminished and drab but a lot depends on choice from a mountain of carols. St George's Chapel at Windsor has been judicious and therefore successful.

Copyright © Basil Ramsey, December 15th 1999 



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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews