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.
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'].
Copyright © Basil Ramsey, December
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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.
Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series
of shorter CD reviews
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