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Excellent Singing

A Christmas selection from Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus
enjoyed by

Pelagos    PEL1005

What Child is This? Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus / Paul Halley. © 2006 Pelagos Incorporated

If for nothing else, I would seek out this CD for the outstanding performance of Rachmaninov's setting of verses from the Liturgy of Vespers, Bogoróditse Devo ('Virgin Mary, Mother of God, rejoice'), an inspiring resonance with beautiful blending of rich vocal colours, the kind of sound that brings tears to the eyes -- I loved it [listen -- track 11, 1:42-2:39]. This is sung by the eleven voices of Chorus Angelicus combined with Gaudeamus, a powerful chamber choir, all under the inspired direction of Paul Halley.

There are in all twenty one tracks, all recorded in the fine acoustic of St Francis of Assisi Church, Torrington CT, and representing a carefully selected anthology of Christmas music ranging from the 13th century Angelus ad Virginem and traditional English, Irish, American songs and spirituals, to most recently Tavener's A Nativity and Halley's own Agnus Dei [listen -- track 9, 0:00-0:34]. Excellent singing in, for instance, The Blessed Song of God by Vaughan Williams [listen -- track 6, 0:00-0:49], John Ireland's Holy Boy, and Andrew Carter's lovely arrangement of Lullaby for Jesus by Peter Warlock [listen -- track 17, 0:00-0:48].

Most of the traditional carol arrangements are very sympathetically done by Paul Halley himself. A gem of an anthology.

Copyright © 11 December 2007 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


What Child Is This?

PEL1005 Stereo FIRST RELEASE 66'42" 2006 Pelagos Incorporated

Chorus Angelicus; Gaudeamus; Paul Halley, conductor

Trad English arranged by Paul Halley: What Child Is This?; thirteenth century arranged by Paul Halley: Angelus ad Virginem; thirteenth century arranged by A Carter: Angelus ad Virginem; Appalachian melody arranged by Paul Halley: Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; trad French arranged Kenneth Leighton: O Leave Your Sheep; Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Blessed Son of God; trad English arranged Simon Preston: I Saw Three Ships; T L de Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium; Paul Halley: Agnus Dei; trad English arranged Paul Halley (verse 1 J Stainer); Sergei Rachmaninov: Bogoroditse Devo; trad English arranged Paul Halley: 'Tis Winter Now; melody from Piae Cantiones arranged Paul Halley: Good King Wenceslas; John Tavener: A Nativity; John Ireland: The Holy Boy; trad English arranged Vaughan Williams: O Little Town of Bethlehem; Peter Warlock transcribed A Carter: Lullaby My Jesus; trad Irish arranged Paul Halley: Beannacht Leat; trad English arranged Paul Halley: Infinite Light; spiritual arranged Paul Halley: Go tell it on the mountain; traditional American, adapted and arranged by Paul Halley: Watts' Cradle Hymn


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