Hyperion Records

Shepherd's Pipe Carol
author of text

'A Christmas Present from Polyphony' (NOEL2)
A Christmas Present from Polyphony
Buy by post £4.50 NOEL2  Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining  
'Rutter: Music for Christmas' (CDA67245)
Rutter: Music for Christmas
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67245 
Track 1 on CDA67245 [2'52]
Track 19 on NOEL2 [2'52] Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining

Shepherd's Pipe Carol
Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, celebrating the piping of a shepherd boy on his way to see the Christ-child at Bethlehem, is quintessentially festive Rutter – sprightly, syncopated, rhythmically taut, and a must on any short-list for the nomination of a Rutter signature tune. It was written in the 1960s for a concert performance with orchestra given at Clare College, Cambridge, while Rutter was still an undergraduate. He fancies the inspiration may just have been the experience of singing as a boy soprano in Menotti’s legendary Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors: ‘I think the piping heard as Amahl heads for Bethlehem with the Wise Men may have stuck in my mind.’ Rutter also relishes the unlikely but apparently true story that the carol was something of a talisman in the Baltic States in the fraught days before Soviet control finally broke down: ‘I’ve heard that it was secretly circulated on photocopies and by fax … choirs were singing it as a kind of badge of resistance!’

from notes by Andrew Green © 2001

Track-specific metadata
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Details for NOEL2 track 19
Recording date
6 January 2001
Recording venue
All Saints, Tooting, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Rutter: Music for Christmas (CDA67245)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: October 2001
  2. A Christmas Present from Polyphony (NOEL2)
    Disc 1 Track 19
    Release date: October 2004
    Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining
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