Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

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Nova! Nova! Joy to the world!

23 favourite carols arranged for choir by Louis Halsey
Hertfordshire Chorus, David Temple (conductor), Rufus Frowde (organ)
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: February 2023
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Tim Oldham
Engineered by Mike Hatch & Tom Lewington
Release date: November 2023
Total duration: 62 minutes 52 seconds

Spirited performances from the Hertfordshire Chorus of twenty-three popular carols in new arrangements by Louis Halsey.

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The origin of Christmas carols is the subject of much debate amongst scholars, with no consensus about how far back in time they can be traced. Some people point to the idea that songs for all seasons existed even before Christianity, but once this religion began to spread then the singing of hymns during services emerged as a new development. In the 13th century St Francis of Assisi wrote the first Nativity plays and over time the singing of songs during the Christmas period gathered momentum to the point where they formed a distinctive category of their own.

Alongside this and before such songs were written down, there was a strong tradition of songs, including what we now call carols, being sung in communities across countries and passed from generation to generation. This resulted in those songs being adapted, arranged and then rearranged as they were passed down. It was when such songs and carols began to be written down and then published that what we now think of as the traditional Christmas carols became widely known. Of course, this was happening around the world and in this selection from Nova! Nova! by Louis Halsey there are English, German, French, Czech, Basque, Welsh and Irish melodies to enjoy.

Signum Classics © 2023

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