In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
As the true connoisseur knows, like with any other genre of music, all-female Christmas recordings have a unique and lovely sound to them that is a delight to hear. With recordings from small and large female choirs around the globe, we’ve got a little bit of every style of Christmas music, ranging from sacred medieval pieces and modern carols to performances of the transcribed arrangements from a Japanese internment camp’s choir. Some of these ensembles are “grown-up,” while others are college based. The Women’s Choral Christmas Recordings section is another one of our holidays-in-a-CD-case collections; have a seat, pop in a CD, take a listen, and relive holidays-past!
Displaying 1-38 of 38 items.
Review: A selection of liturgical and paraliturgical Christmas pieces, taken from medieval Hungarian sources. Most are monophonic, but there is a modest sprinkling of simple polyphonic pieces for two, three and four voices. The charm of the performance lies in its unpretentious, almost childlike simplicity - suggested, maybe, by the delightful extracts from the Christmas story as quoted in the notes. These extracts come from the "Peasants' Bible" - Paraszbiblia: Magyar Nepi Biblikus Tortenetek - which contains Bible stories retold in simple language, with homely, imaginative details and an atmosphere of fairy-tale. The classic liturgical pieces, which include the Introit Dum medium silentium, the splendid Gradual Speciosa forma, and others, are heard in a version which tends to use the pentatonic scale, thus avoiding both B natural and B flat. The sung readings are impressive with their polyphonic settings. I enjoyed the rich Genealogy (Liber generationis) with its beautifully constructed and compelling melody. Some of the vernacular pieces, as well as the Latin song for New Year's Day, have a regular ternary rhythm. The Hungarian Te Deum (which appeared in an earlier recording by the Schola Hungarica on Quintana) offers an interesting alternative for the concluding verses: it simply transposes the original theme up a fourth. The 110-page booklet, lavishly produced with both colour and black-and-white illustrations, is a marvellous little tool and a joy to handle.
Songlist: Ave spes nostra, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Veni domine, O mundi domina, Fuit virgo, Vox clara, ecce, intonat, Omes unanimiter, Dum medium silentium, Primo tempore alleviata, Speciosus forma, Novum decus oritur, Letentur cele, Salvator noster, Az idvozitor regenten, Novus annaus adiit, Exulta filia Syon, Liber generationis, Gaude et letare, Exordium quadruplate"/"Nate dei"/"Concrepet infanti"/"Verbum caro, Isten, teged
Review: Ruth Cunningham, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer and Johanna Maria Rose are the acclaimed, prolific a cappella group, Anonymous 4, and the beautiful polyphonic music in this CD almost didn't make it to us because of the invasion of Hungary by the Turks in 1541. The iconoclastic Turks destroyed artworks in all forms, including liturgical manuscripts. Fortunately some of the manuscripts were copied or carried away by fleeing monks, nuns and clerics. These plainchants are remarkably consistent, part of a major effort towards liturgical and musical uniformity. Ethereal, hauntingly beautiful, one can close one's eyes and be in the cathedral where the choir sent this perfect, sacred music heavenward - as prayerful, meditative and joyful for the singers as for the worshippers. 20 sublime pieces.
Songlist: Ave Spes Nostra, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Veni Dommine, O Mundi Domina, Fuit Virgo, Vox Clara, Ecce, Intonat, Omnes Unanimiter, Dum Medium Silentium, Primo Tempore Alleviata, Speciosus Forma, Novum Decus Oritur, Letentur Celi, Salvator Noster, Az Idvozitot Regenten, Novus Annus Adiit, Exulta Filia Syon, Liber Generationis, Exordium Quadruplate, Lsten, Teged
Review: 1999 recording, celebrating the legend of St. Nicholas ("Jolly St Nick," or "Santa Claus"); as with most folk heroes, the actual biography of Nicholas, born in Turkey somewhere around 300 A.D., is much removed from present day interpretation. The New-York based classical women's quartet Anonymous 4, whose focus is medieval chant and polyphony, enliven these motets, hymns and conductus (medieval setting of Latin text) with an attention to historical realism that brings them very much to life. As the function of these chants was in the context of Catholic liturgy, they are by definition, an embodiment of all that is divine; neither rhythmically or harmonically complex, their appeal is their quiet beauty and distinctive texture.
Songlist: intonent hodie, exultemus et letemur, gaudens in domino, seint nicholas was borne in the citee of patras, confessor dei nicholaus, cantu mirro, summa laude, sainte nicholaes, whanne the bisshop of the citee of myre deied, nicholai presulis, cum quidam fluctuantia, novus presul prodiit, sainte nicholaes, all the province of seint nicholas suffered..., plaudat letitia, salve cleri speculum/ salve iubar presulum, sainte nicholaes, a worschipfull man hadde thre doughtres virgines, fulget nicolaus, ex eius tumba/ sospitati dedit egros, gaudens in domino, and whanne oure lorde lust to take seint nicholas..., psallar chorus/ eximie pater/ (aptatur), nicholae presulum, micholaus pontifex
Hodie Christus natus est
Review: The four female members of Anonymous 4 are dedicated to the preservation of Gregorian chant from medieval times, and this holiday selection of English plainchant, songs, motets and carols are all derived from this period. As one might expect, the texts are often sacred in nature, to be performed during religious rites and devotions, such as Advent (hymn, "Vox Clara, Ecce, intonat"). Carols often use the multiple verse and refrain format, that was a typical form ("Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu," and others). Much more could be said about the historical and musical context of these works - and is, in the extensive liner notes - but this background, though fascinating, is not necessary to simply appreciate the supple grace and open sound of these gentle voices, which is more than enough.
Songlist: Hodie Christus natus est, O nobilis nativitas"/"O mira dei"/"Odecus virgineum"/"Appruit, Lux de luce, Alleluya: A nywe werke, Verbum supernun prodiens, Balaam de quo vaticianas, Ave Maria, Gabriel, fram heven-king, Lullay: I saw a swete semly syght, Prolis eterne genitor"/"Psallat mater gracie, Vox clara, ecce, intonat, De supernis sedibus, Qmnes de Saba, Puellare gremium, Lullay, ullay: Als I lay on Yoolis night, Tria sunt munera, Orto sole serene"/"Origo viri"/"Virga Iesse, Peperit virgo, Ecce quod natura, A solis ortus cardine, Ther is no rose of swych vertu, Videntes stellam, Owt of your slepe aryse
A God and Yet A Man
Review: Andrew Lawrence-King's virtuoso harp joins the voices of Anonymous 4 in a wealth of Yuletide music, favourite and rare, from the British Isles. Juxtaposing pagan and Christian traditions, the programme interweaves English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ballads and carols with well-loved pieces by John Tavener (The Lamb), Benjamin Britten, and a newly commissioned work by Peter Maxwell Davies. Andrew Lawrence-King adds special colour playing a variety of instruments: psaltery, Baroque harp, and a remarkable Irish "Queen Mary" harp which sounds as if it contains its own peal of heavenly bells.
Songlist: Awake and join the cheerful choir, Good people all, The seven rejoices of Mary, The Lamb, A Scots Lilt, Balulalow, Balulalow (Richard Rodney Bennett), The holly and the ivy, The Reel of Tullochgorum, I saw three ships, A Calendar of Kings (Peter Maxwell Davies), Air: La fuar geimhreadh, An teicheadh go hEigipt, A God, and yet a man? (Geoffrey Burgon), Grene growith the holy (Henry VIII), Wel, dyma'r borau gorau, The Cherry Tree Carol, Can wassel, A New Year Carol (Benjamin Britten)
O My Dear Heart
Review: Pride of Vermont since their founding by the renowned Dr. Willis, the 40-strong Bella Voce Women's Chorus brings us a bright, ringing Christmas album of 20 songs, some of them familiar and beloved, like "The Sussex Carol," "Wexford Carol," John Rutter's "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," "A La Nanita Nana," the spirituals "Mary Had A Baby" and "Glory and Honor to the Newborn King;" "Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head," "I Wonder As I Wander," the Christmas medley "Christmas Intrada," Benjamin Britten's "This Little Babe" and Brahms' "Ave Maria." and many of them less familiar to us, like "Masters in this Hall," "O My Dear Heart," Eleanor Daley's "What Sweeter Music," "La Virgen Lava Panales," "The Moon of Wintertime," "A la Ru, A la Me" and Steven Rickards' "Angels Did Sing." Most songs have some light to heavy accompaniment, and the lovely, extensive liner notes have all the lyrics.
Songlist: The Sussex Carol, Masters in This Hall, Wexford Carol, O My Dear Heart, Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day, A La Nanita Nana, Mary Had A Baby, Jehovah Hallelujah, Glory and Honor to the Newborn King, Christmas Intrada, What Sweeter Music, La Virgen Lava Panales, The Moon of Wintertime, This Little Babe, Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head, I Wonder as I Wander, A la Ru, A la Me, Angels Did Sing, Magnificat
Review: This recording features selections from the seasons including Spring and Summer from Gustav Holst's Two Eastern Pictures; Daniel Hall's haunting Indian Summer with piano and oboe; and a variety of Christmas pieces including Randol Alan Bass' Christmas Flourish and Gloria for women's voices. Glorious Seasons also contains several unaccompanied pieces by Australian composer, Sandra Milliken. A fine recording from this top notch womens choir under the direction of Dawn Willis.
Songlist: Alleluia, Spring, Summer, The Rose of Sharon, Indian Summer, Cantate Domino, Os Justi , El Romanton, Sing Me to Heaven, Veniki, Dona Nobis Pacem, Hodie Christus Natus , Dormi Jesu, I Saw Three Ships, Still, Still, Still , Nativity Carol, Gloria, Christmas Flourish
Review: "A Bella Christmas: Angels are Singing" is an aptly-named, live, gorgeous Christmas collection from the pride of Rochester, Minnesota. Most of the songs are accompanied by piano, a brass ensemble, organ, oboe and congas. But the highlight of the album is the high, soaring voices of the 51 singers, in perfect solos and together in glorious harmony. Some of our favorites among the 15 cuts are Z. Randall Stroope's "Magnificat" and "There Is No Rose;" Chris Dedrick's "The Angel Choir and The Trumpeter," Mozart's "Alleluia," John Rutter's lovely "Candlelight Carol" and a cappella "Deck The Hall;" Tchaikovsky's "Dans des Mirlitons" (Dance of the Reed Flutes," Pietro A. Yon's sublime "Gesu Bambino," the traditional song "Cantemos a Maria" (Let Us Sing to Mary); Egil Hovland's "Stay With Us" and the traditional carol "Silent Night." Every cut here is perfect, and guaranteed to bring joyous music to your Christmas celebrations for years to come!
Songlist: Magnificat, The Angel Choir and the Trumpeter, O Come, All Ye Faithful, Ding Dong! Merrily On High, Alleluia, Candlelight Carol, Danse des Mirlitons (Dance of the Reed Flutes), Deck the Hall, Away in a Manger, Gesu Bambino, In the Bleak Midwinter, There Is No Rose, Cantemos a Maria (Let Us Sing To Mary), Stay With Us (from Captive and Free), Silent Night
Review: The Choir of Sofia, conducted by Ludmila Dimova, interprets the songs of Christmas in the tradition of the Bulgarian polyphonies. Between classical music and folk-world music of the eastern countries; like the successful Mysteries of the Bulgarian Voice with its antique, pre-Christian and Hellenistic roots, the Choir interprets with grace the songs of Western heritage: Silent Night, Tino Rossi's Petit Papa Noel, Jingle Bells, Schubert's Ave Maria and more. A new discovery of these Christmas songs' heritage for every age.
Songlist: Silent Night, Hey Maiden, A Virgin Is Bearing Today, Get Up, Host, Jingle Bells, Foom, Foom, Le Petit Papa Noel, It Will Snow, Ostinato, Dignity, Glorify, Ave Maria, In Suffers is Bearing Mother Mary, Many Years, The First Noel, Deck The Halls, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Review: Singing is an important tradition in Bulgaria, especially at Christmas, whether at church or caroling in people's homes. There is a unique sonority specific to Christmas within the incredibly rich musical palette. This recording contains Bulgarian folk carols, Orthodox Church music and more familiar Christmas tunes, such as "Silent Night." The simple melodies and sincere lyrics of these songs will bring joy and peace to your Christmas celebration.
Songlist: Rozhdestveni kambani (Christmas bells) - Petar Liondev, Koledna nosht (Christmas night) - Petar Liondev, Koledna pesen (Christmas song) - Gentcho Gentchev, Momata s chudna riza (The lass with a spended dress) - Georgy Petkov, Divnitza (Wonderful star) - Gerogy Petkov, Koledna zvezda (Christmas star) - Stefan Dragostinov, Bogorodize Devo (Holy Virgin) - Orthodox / arr. Priest Kiril Popov, Sveti Petar (Saint Peter) - Petar Liondev, Hei pastiri (Hey, shepherds) - trad. Arr. Georgy Petkov, La Notte Di Natale (Christmas night) - Silvio Pedrotti/ arr. Ivan Spassov, Vitleemska zvezda (Ihr Kinderlein, kommet) - arr. Alexander Josiffov, Koledna prilazka (A Christmas tale) - Georgy Petkov, Tiha nosht, svjata nosht (Silent night, Holy night) - Franz Gruber / arr. Alexander Josiffov, Rozhdestvo Hristovo (Christmas) - Dobri Hristov / arr. Georgy Petkov
Review: Elaine Quilichini directs the elite "Brava," finest of 5 performing choirs within the CGC, in this dramatically beautiful Christmas collection, accompanied by pianos, percussion, violin and cello. This CD was recorded in 2003, after which the Choir performed in the Choral Peace Concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC. 23 songs, beginning with 7 by Salvator Mundi "Make We Merry," "Mirabile Mysterium," "Be we Merry in this Feast," "Lullay," "Susani," "Christie, Redemptor Omnium," and the lively, joyous "Welcome Yule." Other favorites are "Mary's Cradle Song," El Cant des Ocells," the French songs "Venez, divin Messie," "Il est ne, le divin enfant," "Dans cette etable" and "On ne creaint plus dans l'univers," "The Holly and The Ivy," "A Carol of Peace," "Bashana Habah'ah" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." A sweet, memorable collection that will fill you and yours with joy and Christmas spirit! Complete lyrics on the nice liner notes.
Songlist: Make We merry, Mirabile Mysterium, Be we Merry in this Feast, Lullaby, Susanni, Christe, Redemptor Omnium, Welcome, Yule, Ave maria, Mary's Cradle Song, Canco a la Verge, El Cant des Ocells, Lullaby, Venez, divin Messie, Il est ne le divin Enfant, Dans cette etable, On ne craint plus dans lunivers, In Dulci Jubilo, The Holly and The Ivy, Away in a Manger, A Carol of Peace, Bashana Habah'ah, Blessing, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Review: The Calgary Girls Choir presents a unique musical gift to its audiences everywhere. Recorded by Brava, the main performing, recording and touring ensemble of the Calgary Girls Choir, Christmas Creche is the first of many promising accomplishments by these talented singers.
Songlist: Je Ne L'O Se Dire , Come Let Us All This Day , Schafe Konnen Sicher Weiden , Jesu Meme Freude, The Lord Is My Shepherd , Guten Abend , Velvet Shoes , A Litany , Os Justi , Rise Up My Love , And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears , Angels Are Everywhere , The Blooming Bright Star Of Belle Isle , She's Like The Swallow , Shule Agra , The Drinaun Donn , Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye! , I Am In Love I Dare Not Own It , O Can Ye Sew Cushions? , Vem Kan Segla Forutan Vind? , Are You Sleeping, Brother John? , Niska Banja, Old Macdoodle Had A Band, Feel Good , When I Sing
Review: Artistic Director Elaine Quilichini founded the Calgary Girls Choir in 1995, an award-winning community choir known for its outstanding performance of a wide variety of musical styles and challenging repertoire. The Choir offers five programs for girls and young women, of which two, "Allegra," a preparatory choir for girls ages 6 to 11 years, and "Brava," winner of many provincial and national music awards. 15 Christmas songs, all accompanied by light piano, beginning with the title cut, a medley of the "7 Joys," including "This Is The Truth," "Din, Don! Merrily on High," "Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine," "Patapan," "Fum, fum, fum!" and others; Schubert's "Ave Maria," "Once In Royal David's City," the Czech folksong "Zither Carol," "Al Shlosha D'Varim," the lovely "Candles, Candles," "The Carol of the Rose," "Apple-Tree Wassail," and standard carols "Fa La, La, La, La" and "Silent Night," "A Celtic Blessing" and others. A lovely Christmas winner from one of Canada's most talented and beloved children's choirs.
Songlist: The Joy of Love: This is the truth, The Joy of Bells: Din don! merrily on high, The Joy of Mary: Joseph dearest, Joseph mine, The Joy of Children: Patapan, The Joy of the New Year: New Year Song, The Joy of Dance: Fum, fum, fum, The Joy of Song: God bless the master of this house, Ave Maria, The little road to Bethlehem, Once in Royal David's City, The Little Jesus Came to Town, Zither Carol, Candles, Candles, Al Shlosha D'Varim, The Carol of the Rose, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, Carols of French Canada, Apple-Tree Wassail, Fa, la, La, La, La, Silent Night, A Celtic Blessing
Tuikkikaa, Oi Joulun Tahtoset
Review: There is a distinctly female point of view on this record - and no wonder. Aino Loppela has built a repertoire in which the dimensions of Finnish Christmas become thoroughly illuminated. Mysterious silence at the dusk of Christmas Eve, anticipation, presents and many other things fill up a little girl's mind. The protagonist is, however, Maria Matala Neiti, Pyha Herran Piikanen (Mary the Humble Maiden, sacred Lord's Servant), whose experience about the deepest message of Christmas is performed here. The Campanella Female Choir is among the elite of Finnish choirs of female voices and and winners of numerous awards.
Songlist: Piika Pikkarainen, Jouluna Jumala Syntyi, Maria Matala Neiti, Syntyi Poika Polvillehen, Harka Olkia Levitti, Otabat Piti Iloa, De Radice Processerat, Angelus Emittitur, Psallat Scholarum Concio, Maria, Herran Piikanen, Aa, Aa, Jo Lapsi Nukahtaa, Kun Joulu Valkeneepi, Kautta Tyynen, Vienon Yon, Joulun Odotukesessa, Talvi-Iltana, Pimeaa, Lasten Joulu, Joulu Tullut On, Jouluaattona, Joululumi, Joululaulu, Hiljainen Joululaulu, Joulun Kellot, Tule Takkaus Ihmisrintaan, Tuikkikaa, Oi Joulun Tahtoset, Betlehemin Tahti
Review: Founder Pamela Cook directs Cantamus, based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, UK, her 40 hand picked singers, girls age 13 to 19, in a generous, finely-crafted Christmas collection of 19 songs. Just a quick listen to John Rutter's "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," and accompanist Michael Neaum's arrangements of "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear," and we know what a treat "Noel" is going to be! Mostly accompanied by piano, flute and other instruments, there are few sounds as joyous and welcoming at Christmas than these soaring, spirited young voices singing favorites like "Patapan," "Stille Nacht," "White Christmas," "Riu, Riu Chiu" and "Away in a Manger;" and lesser-known tunes like "I Sing of a Maiden," "Lullay Myn Lyking," "Midwinter" and "Pastorcito Santo." Treat yourself and your loved ones to "Noel," a true musical Christmas gift!
Songlist: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, The Little Drummer Boy, Do You Hear What I Hear?, I Sing of a Maiden, A Maiden Most Gentle, Patapan, Midwinter, Riu, Riu, Chiu, Pastorcito Santo, Shepherd's Pipe Carol, What Child is This?, The Lily and the Rose, Sussex Carol, Stille Nacht, Mary's Lullaby, Lullay Myn Lyking, Away in a Manger, The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, White Christmas
Review: Diane Loomer, C.M. and Morna Edmundson, Artistic Director, co-founded the Elektra Women's Choir in 1987, giving it a mandate to lead and inspire in the choral art form through the creation, exploration and celebration of women's repertoire. Adding to a long tradition of honors and awards, Elektra once again won first place in the women's voices category of the 2010 NNational Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. The choir's many recordings are best sellers in the Singers.com catalog, and are in demand all over the world-the choir is also proud to offer ongoing programs that train and encourage young singers, conductors and composers. They have commissioned and premiered over 60 new works, many of which have become standards of women's choral literature. "Chez Nous" (French for "Our House") is a gorgeous Christmas collection of 20 songs, featuring such favorites as Michael Praetorius' "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," Edward Henderson's lovely "Star Song," Benjamin Britten's wonderful 12-song "A Ceremony of Carols," Jeffrey Enns' "Da Pacem," Robert Buckley's "December," and "Night of Silence" by Daniel Kantor. All of these songs are lightly accompanied by piano, but the focus is on the sweet, angelic leads, harmonies and rounds by the perfectly trained and led voices of Elektra. Simply beautiful!
Songlist: Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, Star Song, Joys Seven, Procession - A Ceremony of Carols, Wolcum Yole! - A Ceremony of Carols, There is no Rose - A Ceremony of Carols, That yonge child - A Ceremony of Carols, Balulalow - A Ceremony of Carols, As dew in Aprillle - A Ceremony of Carols, This little Babe - A Ceremony of Carols, Interlude - A Ceremony of Carols, In Freezing Winter Night - A Ceremony of Carols, Spring Carol - A Ceremony of Carols, Adam lay i-bounden - A Ceremony of Carols, Recession - A Ceremony of Carols, Da Pacem, Yorkshire Wassail , December, Three in White: a suite of songs about snow, Night of Silence
How Far Is It To Bethlehem?
Review: Founded in 1987, and co-directed by Diane Loomer, C.M. and Morna Edmundson, the 57-strong, Vancouver, BC-based Elektra is now regarded as a leader in the classical women's choir movement worldwide. Seeking out music written specifically for women and frequently commissioning new works, the singers are selected by audition--and share an enthusiasm for challenging repertoire. "Child of Grace," a Christmas CD, is the group's 5th, and contains 21 songs, some with light accompaniment, piano and drums. This is a stunningly lovely collection of beautiful, little-known carols and Christmas songs, like Eleanor Daley's "What Sweeter Music" and "I Sing of a Maiden," and Knut Nystedt's "Mary's Song." There's a joyous group of 8 songs by Derick Holman called "Sir Christemas." Songs we've heard many times like "I Saw Three Ships," "How Far Is It to Bethlehem" and Malcolm Edwards' "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" are the exceptions. Each song is a gem!
Songlist: Adam Lay Ybounden, O My Dear Heat, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, What Sweeter Music, Carol for the Animals, I Sing of a Maiden, Mary's Song, How Far is it to Bethlehem?, In the Bleak Midwinter , Sir Christemas:, -Proface, welcome!, -Sir Christemas, -The Wassail, -Omnes gentes plaudite, -Here comes holly, -Ivy, chief of trees, -Nay, ivy, nay, -Now have good day!, The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, The Huron Carol, I Saw Three Ships, I Sing of a Maiden
Por el Valle de Rosas
Review: This album is a special collection of rare Christmas songs and arrangements from all over Latin America, including traditional and recent renditions of tunes and melodies from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. These songs are performed by Harmonies, a girls choral group based in Los Angeles, comprised of girls ages 8 through 18 under the musical direction of Orchestral and Choral Conductor Maestro Antonio Espinal, founder of the choir.
Songlist: Letania, Villancico Mexicano, Tarara Tarara Qui Yo Soy Anton, Por el Valle de Rosas, Navidad Guadalupana, El Tilingo Lingo Navideno, El Cha Cha Cha de la Navidad, A la Media Noche, Pastores a Belen, Los Tres Reyes Magos, Vamos Todos de Pachanga, Velo que Bonito, No Se Nino Hermoso, Ay Si, Ay No, Noche Buena Paraguaya, Villancico Negro, Festejo de navidad, Boas Festas, Bonus Track: Festejo de navidad - a Capella
Review: The famous choir named The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices conducted by Dora HRISTOVA again conveys its challenge to Bulgarian folk music lovers, this time with their interpretation of songs from the most widely spread and cherished customs, those at Christmas and at St. Lazar's Day. The songs sung at Christmas and St. Lazar's Day lend specific colour in the repertoire of many ensembles. This programme is a successful attempt to select songs which represent a comparison between the two customs. Christmas is celebrated on the day when the church commemorates Christ's nativity. Yet the deep meaning of the custom is in the ancient pagan beliefs about the birth of the new sun. There are young men-Christmas-carollers and their leader is always an older man, called stanenik. According to the custom, the time for Christmas celebration is specifically set - from midnight till sunrise. The Christmas carollers make their rounds always starting to the west. They sing songs glorifying the host in every house and bless him for health and fertility. In their turn, the hosts present them with Christmas ring-shaped buns decorated with a coin and meat, beans, etc.
Songlist: First Song on the Road, Second Song on the Road, We Sing A Song for You, Cheers, Cheers to You, Master of the House, Beautiful Milka, We Sing A Song for You, A Girl Bragged, A Mighty Boy Is Saddling His Horse, Turbid Waters Were Flowing, Song on Going Out of the House, Oh, Lazar, Lazarski Bouenets, Lazar Is Coming, Lazar Is Roaming, There's A Willow, There's No Willow, Lazarska Song for the Bride, Lazarski, Beautiful Girl, Young Girls Lazaritsi, Well Aren't We Dancing, Strapping Nikola, Mother's Only Son, Lament for Lazar
Review: Those familiar with the history of the Malle Babbe Women's Choir know that the ensemble was formed in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, as dramatized in the movie, "Paradise Road." Now directed by Leny Van Schaik, this "voice-orchestra" performs various classical compositions (over seventy-three minutes of material) dedicated to holiday and religious subjects appropriate to the season, in tribute to the original Malle Babbe Choir. The Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus are celebrated in four versions of "Ave Maria," as written by Holst, Arcadelt, von Bruck and Kodaly, as well as several other hymns. Christmas traditionals such as the Austrian "Yodeler Prayer" add variety, as do several Gaillardes (music written in triple meter for recorder, intended for dancing). Familiar carols represented include "I Saw Three Ships," which has a rolling rhythm that propels the listener like oars in water; "Silent Night, " with two different arrangements, both by John Rutter, and the recording's finale, a Christmas medley replicated from the original version by the Malle Babbe Choir, transcribed from memory while imprisoned. "Sing, Choirs of Angels" is an apt title for this recording, as indeed the graceful delivery and clear high registers of this women's choir are eminently suitable to convey just such an impression. As the spires of a church ascending toward the heavens, their voices rejoice in the glory of life and of the Creator.
Songlist: Wohlauf, wir heben mit Singen an, Ave Regina Caelorum, Gaillarde / O du frohliche, Sonate aus Weibnachtskantate, Stille Nacht, Gloria in Excelsis Deo / Jodler-andacht / Leise rieselt der Schnee, Gaillarde / O Kerstnacht, Sainte Nuit, Gaude Virgo Mater Christi, Ecce Maria, Ronde / Kommet, ihr Hirten, Stille Nacht, Salve Regina , Regina Caeli , Ave Maria , Maria durch ein Dornwald ging, Ave Maria , Ave Maria, nonnenchor - j. strauss jr., benatzky, Dona Nobis Pacem, Ave Maria , Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Mary had a Baby, I Saw Three Ships, Jodler-Andacht / Gloria in Excelsis Deo / O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, Song of Survival Christmas Medley: Pastoral Symphony from Messiah / Good King / The First Nowell / Away in a Manger / Good Christian Men, Rejoice / Cowley Carol / Sleep, Holy Babe / Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Review: Sigrid Johnson conducts the Manitou Singers, comprised of 95 first-year female students at Northfield, Minnesota's St. Olaf College. The Singers have delighted audiences over the years with their beautiful and striking interpretations of treble choral literature. Included are Clausen's "Make a Joyful Noise," Rutter's "Candlelight Carol" and "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," "There Is No Rose of Such Virtue," Jackson Berkey's "Gloria," "Sanctus," "Make We Joy," "Sing A New Noel;" 17 songs in total. Orchestral accompaniment on most songs, but the beautiful voices of the young women are on center stage. Lovely and intricate music for Christmas!
Songlist: Make A Joyful Noise, Candlelight Carol, The Road Ahead, Gloria, There Is No Rose of Such Virtue, All My Heart This Night Rejoices, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, I Sing of a Maiden, Sleep, O Lovely One, Sanctus (from Missa Hosanna), Make We Joy, The Journey of Mary, Sing a New Noel, How Far is it to Bethlehem?, A la nanita nana, Lullaby (from Hodie), Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
Review: Northfield, MN's St. Olaf College offers an academically education with a vibrant faith tradition. The Manitou Singers, comprised of 100 first year women students, have a repertoire that ranges from sacred to secular to popular ballads, and their performances have broad appeal on and off campus. This live recording is from the Singers' performance at the popular St. Olaf Christmas Festival, and includes 17 songs. Favorites are standards such as the carols such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem, "What Child is This" and "I Saw Three Ships," as well as lesser known pieces like William Mathais' "Susanni," Daniel Gawthrop's "Mary Speaks," David Conte's "A Stable Lamp is Lighted," Ian Kellam's "Alpha to Omega" and Benjamin Britten's "Procession and Balulalow" (Ceremony of Carols). There are some wonderful songs we are hearing for the first time, and beautifully done standards on this generous Christmas collection!
Songlist: A Christmas Carol, Susanni, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Lullaby Medley, Mary Speaks, What Child Is This, A Stable Lamp Is Lighted, The Sussex Carol, Sweet Was The Song, I Saw Three Ships, Gloria, Alpha To Omega, Gloria, There Is No Rose, Gloria, Make A Joyful Noise, Procession And Balulow (Ceremony of Carols)
Review: Our definition of a Christmas gift would certainly include 8 beautiful women, dressed in mediaeval costume, singing songs adapted from the 11th through the 16th centuries, lightly accompanied such period instruments as Zither, Hurdygurdy, Harmonium, Citern, Glockenspiel and Astrowheel. We don't even know what a number of these instruments look like, but they sound wonderful! "Mistletoe" is classical and even sacred, but the Baebes' vital sound is anything but dry or academic. 15 tunes, some favorites: "The Holly & The Ivy," the traditional French "L'Amour de Moi," the dramatic "Salva Nos," "There Is No Rose of Swych Vertu," "Kimberly," the lovely "In Dulci Jubilo," "I Am Eve," "The Coventry Carol," the spirited "Undrentide" and the plaintive, haunting "Blow, Northern Wind." The beauty of the words and music are rivaled only by the sweet voices and harmonies!
Songlist: The Holly and the Ivy, Gaudete, Amour de Moi, Salva Nos, Glass Window, There Is No Rose of Swych Vertu, Kinderly, In Dulce Jubilo, Love Me Broughte, I Am Eve, Quan Vey La Layeta, The Coventry Carol, Underntide, Ecce Mundi Gaudium, Blow Northern Wind
Deck The Hall
Review: The Motet Singers are ten female vocalists who began in 1982 as a vocal sight-reading group under the direction of Hannelore Good. They sing a cappella music from classical, folk and popular genres, ranging from medieval to contemporary, and are known for their pure sound, seamless blending of voices and the eclectic variety of their music. There are 20 tracks here, from a fine "Salve Regina" by Javier Busto and several other contemporary and 20th century pieces, to short sacred works by Renaissance composers Morales and Palestrina, to some very nice 19th and 20th century arrangements of Spanish carols from various periods. Some of our favorites: "A la Puerta del Cielo," "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" and "Ave Maria." There are drums on at least one cut. Everything relates to the Nativity theme, and there is a nice mix of unfamiliar winners with familiar favorites. An exceptional, beautifully sung CD!
Songlist: Sactus, O My Dear Heart, Three Spanish Carols, Ya Viene La Vieja, A La Puerta del Cielo, Riu, riu, chiu, Deck the Hall, White Christmas, Ave Maria, Lullay my liking, Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, O Magnum Mysterium, Maria durch ein' Dornwald ging, Over the Hill Maria Went, A La Nanita Nana, Good King Wenceslas, The Christmas Song, The Holly and the Ivy, The Three Kings, Some Children See Him, Salve Regina
Review: "Alegria y Placer" is the second finely-crafted album of San Francisco's own 15-voice women's vocal ensemble, Musae. It showcases local composer Conrad Susa's "Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest" for women's ensemble, harp, marimba, vibraphone and guitar. "Carols and Lullabies" is all in Spanish, and it features 10 songs of the 20 on the album. Each of the ten (accompanied) songs seems lovelier than the next, songs like "Alegria," "Los Posadas," the magical "Campana Sobre Campana," and the joyous "El Noi De La Mare." The others include standards such as "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," "All Night, All Day," "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Deck the Hall." Other favorites are "This Endris Night," from a 15th Century English text, and a pair of lovely, wise folk songs, the lively "Vus Vet Zayn" and the gentle "Nada Te Turbe." There is quite a lot of accompaniment in the album, but the focus is on the beautiful voices. Musae is a delicious vocal smorgasbord from beginning to end, and all we have to do is treat ourselves. "Alegria y Placer" is one of the most enjoyable Christmas albums of the year!
Songlist: ĦO, Mi Belen! , El Desembre Congelat, Alegria , A la Nanita Nana , Las Posadas, Campana sobre Campana, En Belen Tocan a Fuego, El Noi de la Mare, Chiquirriquitin, El Rorro, Silent Night , Away in a Manger , This Endris Night, O Magnum Mysterium , Gabriels Message, All Night, All Day, I'll Be Home for Christmas , Deck the Hall , Vus Vet Zayn, Nada Te Turbe
Review: Highlights include the Pastoral Symphony by Handel, Caritas abundat by Hildegard von Bingen, selections from Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, Bach's In dulci jubilo arranged for piano and performed by Josephine Gandolfi, and several pieces from Seven Joys of Christmas by Kirke Mechem.
Songlist: Caritas Abundat, Alleluia Psallat, There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue, Gaudete!, Nay, Ivy, Nay, Pastoral Symphony, The Lorde That Lay In Asse Stalle, Haill! Quene Of Heven, Nowell In Bethlehem, In The Bleak Midwinter , Processional, Wolcum Yole, There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue, This Little Babe, Interlude, Spring Carol, Deo Gracias, Recessional, The Wassail Song, Gloucestershire Wassail, In Dulci Jublio, The Joy Of Love:This Is The Truth, The Joy Of Bells: Din Don!, The Joy Of Mary: Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine, The Joy Of Children: Patapan, The Joy Of Dance: Fum, Fum, Fum!, The Joy Of Song: God Bless The Master Of This House, Nowel Syng We Bothe Al and Some
Review: The 61-strong Peninsula Women's Chorus was established in 1966, and has been under the direction of Dr. Patricia Hennings since 1975, and the Christmas CD "Carols" is their fourth CD. The first 10 songs are a marvelous group called "Carols and Lullabies, Christmas in the Southwest" by Conrad Susa. A friend of Susa's showed him a collection of traditional Spanish carols he had sung as a boy in Arizona, and Susa put them together to form a narrative. combining homey, artful simplicity with Renaissance music, Songs like "Alegria" and the Andalusian song "Chiquirriquitin," with their lilting, dancing marimbas, and the lovely "A La Nanita Nana," are the gems of the CD. The second half of the CD takes us more in the direction of the sacred (Karai's "Hodie Christus natus est" and Missa Brevis' "Kyrie," "Sanctus" and "Agnus Dei"). Throw in "The Carol of the Rose," "Alleluia" and others, and you have a surprising, delightful Christmas CD!
Songlist: Oh, mi Belen!, El Desembre Congelat, Alegria, A la Nanita Nan, Las Posadas, Campana sobre Campana, En Belen Tocan a Fuefgo, El Noi de la Mare, Chiquirriquitin, El Rorro, Hodie Christus natus est, Missa Brevis, -Kyrie, -Sanctus, -Agnus Dei , Two selections from The Place of the Blest, -The Carol of the Rose, -Alleliuia, O Regem coeli, Christmas Intrada
Song of Mary
Review: Renowned for its versatility, Philomela has, ever since it was formed in 1984, adopted an innovative approach to choral expression under its conductor Marjukka Riihimaki. Its many awards have included the Grand Prix in the Chorus Review of Tampere Vocal Music Festival, and in recent years it has regularly been invited to sing at international festivals. Recently Philomela decided to explore the potential for adding new songs to the Finnish stock of Christmas carols without violating the traditional Christmas spirit. It therefore commissioned songs on the Christmas theme from composers it had worked with before and were familiar with Philomela's style. They also included some more traditional Finnish Christmas music as well and this resulting recording is a true a cappella pleasure.
Songlist: The earth is beautiful, Hail to Thee, most blessed, The snowy cottages sleep, A prayer for Christmas night, The Christmas bells, Silence, On Christmas Night, God whispers Christmas, Mary, most lowly of maidens, The sauna seeker, Breathe, my good horse, For God was born, Jesus rocked in a cradle, Cast care aside, Silent night, holy night, Song of Mary
Review: Roberta Q. Jackson directs the over 100 strong PSG, accompanied by the Portland Youth Philharmonic. This is a Christmas CD, and there are 21 songs in celebration of Christmas, from sacred (Galuppi's "Dixit Dominus (Psalm 110) Movements, I, II, II") to pop (Elliot's "Jingle Bell Swing"). There are actually 2 choirs here, the Premier Choir of over 100 voices, and the Debut Choir of about 90, and when they sing together on something like "Silver Bells," it's pretty impressive. An excellent Christmas CD, for yourself to enjoy every Christmas, or to give to a loved one.
Songlist: Shepherd's Pipe Carol, Cantique de Jean Racine, Dixit Dominus, Children Blessed of the Lord, This Little Babe, Chose Something Like a Star, Ding Dong Merrily on High, el Desembre Congelat, Il Est Ne, Angels We Have Heard on High, Hope for Resolution, Donkey Carol, Hine Ma Tov, Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bell Swing, I'll Be HOme For Christmas, Heavenly Aeroplane, Winter Wonderland, The Christmas Song, Silver Bells, O Holy Night
Review: The 11 to 16 years old, 41-strong San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by Sharon J. Paul, was founded in 1978 and has established an international reputation through appearances at concerts,festivals and competitions, and radio programs such as NPR. Dwight Okamura accompanies on piano and Sarah Voynow on harp. "A San Francisco Christmas" features Britten's "A Ceremony Of Carols, Op. 28," "Personent Hodie," arranged by John Rutter, "Joy To The World," "Away In A Manger," "Good King Wenceslas," "Dime el Camino," "Ave Maria," "More I Cannot Wish You," and "Silent Night." The angelic voices of these young women soar as if in a cathedral, singing difficult classical music effortlessly and perfectly. A triumph!
Songlist: Procession, Wolcum Yole, There Is No Rose, That Yonge Child, Balulalow, As Dew In Aprille, This Little Babe, Interlude, In Freezing Winter Night, Spring Carol, Deo Gracias, Recession, Personent Hodie, Joy To The World, Away In A Manager, Good King Wenceslas, Dime El Camino, Ave Maria, More I Cannot Wish You, Silent Night
Review: This second CD is a collection of the group's favorite holiday music. It features one of their commissioned pieces "With This Child" by Michael Maudlin as well as "Ceremony of Carols" by Benjamin Britten. This collection includes both the familiar and unusual in a multitude of tonal colors from women's voices accompanied by harp, flute and saxophone. This fine group celebrates the beauty and diversity of music for women's voices.
Songlist: Adam Lay I-bounden - Katherine Dienes, Dormi Jesu - Jonathan D. Green, Shchedrick - arr. M. Leontovich, With This Child, I. Holy Mother, II. O Child, May We Know You, III. Now the Star, IV. Dream of Darkness, V. Song of Light, Ave Maria - Elanor Daley, Ceremony of Carols - Benjamon Britten, Wolcum Yole!, There Is No Rose, That Yonge Child, Balulalow, As Dew in Aprille, This Little Babe, Interlude, In Freezing Winter Night, Spring Carol, Adam Lay I-Bounden , Night Yoik - Frode Fjelheim, In the Bleak Mid-Winter - Peter Williams, There Is No Rose - Z. Randall Stroope
Review: Seattle's traditional "Christmas Ship" on the cover, the award-winning Seattle Girls' Choir, 25 songs, director Jerome Wright, and the beginning of the Choir's collaboration with Jackson Berkey; what more could we ask for Christmas? The CD is mostly accompanied, on piano by Elaine Koga, but Berkey's "God Be In My Head" is a cappella. The liner notes are lovely and extensive, the songs are marvelously done-great work, girls!
Songlist: The Angels and the Shepherds, Sir Christmas, Personent Hodie, Ceremony of Carols, Opus 28, Light the Legend, A Feast of Lights, Carol of the Bells, Ukrainian Carol, Il est ne le divin enfant, Shchedryk, Ukrainian Carol, Wassail Song, Regina Coeli, Opues 37, No. 3, Mary Speaks, God Be In My Head, A Merry Christmas
Review: This wonderful collection of songs for the Christmas season has been arranged especially for ladies voices. A treasury of best-loved songs from Randy Vader and Jay Rouse, this is the companion CD to the songbook of the same name and is an outstanding resource for worship services, concerts, pageants, or other seasonal events.
Songlist: O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy, Joy, Joy, Mary, Did You Know?, Starlight, Star Bright, Come, Messiah King, Coventry Carol, Tell It On The Mountain, Still He Came, A Merry Carol of the Bells, Jesu, Came Upon a Midnight Clear, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night, Sleep, Holy Child of Bethlehem, Gather Round the Infant King, A Glorias of Christmas
Review: On this recording, Tucson Girls Chorus shares music of the holiday with you. From the haunting message in "Stopping By Woods," by Vera Kistler to the rousing "A la Russe," arranged by Riegger the chorus sings a variety of new pieces and old favorites. This talented choir is sure to put you in the holiday mood.
Songlist: Winter Wonderland , Stopping By Woods, Kyrie from Missa Brevis in C Minor, Ukrainian Bell Carol , Da Pacem , On This Delightful Day , Gesu Bambino , A la Russe (The Sleigh), Ave Maria (linda Nolan), Riu, Riu, Chiu , Nieve (So Softly) , Hurry, Hurry Yonder, Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming, I'll Be Home For Christmas, What Child Is This?
The Bright Star
Review: Ukranian Christmas Carols - Kolyadky - (1 - 11) are sung from Christmas Eve - January 6 (according to the Julian Calendar) to Epiphany on January 19. These songs can be traced to pagan times. With the introduction of Christianity in Ukraine in 988, pagan songs were replaced by Christian carols and hymns. Shchedrivky - New Years song - (12-17) also have pagan roots and herald the New Year which starts January 14. These delightful folk songs with their charming rhythmic melodies, express wishes for health, wealth and happiness.
Songlist: God Is With Us Tropar of the Nativity of Christ , The Bright Star (arr.N Nyzankiwskyj, Y.Poliansky), Joyous Tidings (arr. Y. Yatsynewych solo A. Yaschyshyn), Wondrous News (arr. O. Koshytz), Behold a Miracle (arr. L.Sorochynsky, L. Kuzmenko, orchestral arr. G Kulesha), The Joyous Birth of Christ (Y. Yatsynewych), Angels In Heaven (O. Koshytz), A Soldier's Carol (Z. Lawryshyn), Chernobyl Carol (J. Kytasty - words and music solo H. Feloniuk), Holy Night (arr. M. Hajvoronsky), Heaven and Earth Rejoice! (H. Havryletz), The Queen's Court (H. Havryletz), Return of the Swallow (arr. E. Pip), Good Wishes for the New Year (arr. M. Dauk, Z. Lawryshyn), Shchedryk (T. Stasiuk), Shchedrivonjka (arr. M. Dacko, orchestral arr. Z Lawryshyn), Beyond the Courtyard (arr. M Hajvoronsky)
Review: Kolyadky (carols) and Shchedrivky (New Year's songs) are one of the oldest genres of Ukrainian folk music, dating back to the pre-Christian era. With the coming of Christianity in 988, pagan songs were replaced with Christian carols and hymns, and these delightful (all accompanied) songs reflect sectarian life and express wishes for good health, wealth and happiness. The all-woman Vesnivka Choir was established in 1965 by conductor/director Halyna Kondracki and has won many awards. The Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir was founded in 2001 by Kondraki in affiliation with Vesnivka. 15 tunes, from "Christ is Born" and "Heaven and earth rejoice" to "The beautiful guelder-rose" and "The Carol." Wonderful solos on "The stars shone from heaven" and "A son is born." This beautiful music, from another culture and another time, is all new to us, but that only increases our appreciation for and enjoyment of it!
Songlist: Christ Is Born, Let Us Rejoice, The Stars Shone From Heaven, Heaven And Earth Rejoice, A Son Is Born, Wondrous Tidings, The Carolers, Schedrivka, Christ Sat Down To Supper , The Peacocks The Guelder - Rose Meadow, Malanka, The Beautiful Guelder - Rose, In The Master's Household, The Carol
Zundet An Das Licht
Review: Vox Musica is a 13-strong, women's choral ensemble from Sacramento, CA, directed by Daniel Paulsen, and "Christmas Colours" was recorded in Sacramento's St. Paul's Episcopal Church. We could tell we were hearing something very special here with the first of 12 Christmas tunes, John Tavener's difficult, soaring and often dissonant "A Nativity" and Cesar Carrillo's "Ave Maria," which the group handled beautifully and easily. A very sweet 17th Century German Carol, "Es Sungen Drei Engel," the lilting, joyous "Gaudete, a 16th Century Finnish Carol, Franz Biebl's lovely "Zundet An Das Licht," Tavener's "The Lord's Prayer," the 16th Century Irish melody "Love Came Down At Christmas," Nancy Telfer's 4-part "Missa Brevis" and "Silent Night," nicely arranged by Paulsen, completed the album. Many of these songs are new to us, and we were surprised and delighted to hear them. Listen to the echoing, soaring song of angels, "Love Came Down At Christmas," and you will see what we mean!
Songlist: A Nativity, Ave Maria, Es Sungen Drei Engel, Gaudete, Zundet An Das Licht, The Lord's Prayer, Love Came Down At Christmas, Missa Brevis - Kyrie, Missa Brevis - Gloria, Missa Brevis - Sanctus, Missa Brevis - Agnus Dei, Silent Night
Review: Seasons of Dreams is the ninth recording of The Women's Chorus of Dallas and features Holiday music from the 2002-2003 season. There is a diverse repertoire represented on the recording, ranging from classical to pop.
Songlist: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Snowflakes, Before the Paling of the Stars, Noel des enfants qui n'ont pus de maisons, Season of Dreams, Jamaican Noel, Deck the Halls, Bashana Haba'ah, This Little Babe, Wolcome Yule, The Moon of Wintertime, Christmas...In About 3 Minutes, Hanukka Shalom, Away in a Manger, Still, Still Night, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, A Jingle Bell Christmas
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