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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67576
Recording details: January 2006
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2006
Total duration: 3 minutes 54 seconds

'David Hill's Advent programme imaginatively mingles antiphons, carols, hymns and motets. Favourites alternate with relative rarities such as Edward Naylor's Vox dicentis: Clama, whose sumptuous sonorities unfold gloriously in the chapel's acoustic … the John's choir, fielding what sounds like a vintage crop of trebles, sings throughout with its trademark mixture of refinement and gutsy energy' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This recording holds some of the most exquisite choral singing I have ever heard. They must be one of the finest choirs in England. Not only is the technical standard dazzlingly high, but the readings are engaging, animated and sensitively shaped' (American Record Guide)

'Blend, balance, intonation and diction are all unfailingly top-drawer, and the choir's unanimity of phrasing and dynamic shading come across as something quite special … both engineering and annotation are well up to the same standard' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is a very fine disc indeed … the overall impression with which I’m left is one of great satisfaction and pleasure. The programme has been assembled with great imagination and the execution is well nigh flawless. When one adds in excellent and very atmospheric sound, first rate notes and texts and translations, it all adds up to a very distinguished package indeed. I shall be surprised if I encounter a finer CD of Christmas music this year' (MusicWeb International)

O come, all ye faithful
composer
'Adeste fideles'; probable composer
composer
penultimate verse descant
author of text
possible author of Latin words
translator of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The origins of both the music and words to O come, all ye faithful, the triumphal hymn of praise for Christmas Day, are obscure and may be traced to English Catholic circles of the mid-eighteenth century. They appear in manuscripts copied by John Francis Wade, a lay teacher and musician at Douai Abbey. The tune written down by Wade was first published under the title ‘Adeste fideles’ in An Essay on the Church Plain Chant edited by Samuel Webbe the elder in 1782. Additional verses were added later and Frederick Oakley translated the original Latin from Wade’s manuscript. Modern versions are based on W H Monk’s harmonization for the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), and in this performance the descant of the penultimate verse is by David Hill.

from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006

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