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Track(s) taken from CDA68299

The oxen

First line:
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock
composer
author of text

The Gesualdo Six, Owain Park (conductor)
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Recording details: January 2019
Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: November 2019
Total duration: 3 minutes 13 seconds
 

Other recordings available for download

Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Tenebrae, Nigel Short (conductor)

Reviews

‘A delightful album by an all-male a cappella group is hard to come by—all too often they’re po-faced or schmaltzy; but this is neither. An elegant blend of old and new’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘The close recording of the male-voice line-up of The Gesualdo Six on Christmas reveals the tightness of their ensemble in repertoire ranging from Praetorius to Cheryl Frances-Hoad. Tenor Joseph Wicks’ a cappella arrangement of Jonathan Harvey’s The Annnunciation and director Owain Park’s vibrant On the Infancy of our Saviour compliment well-chosen pieces, making for a delightful and informative listening experience—and a thoughtful stocking filler!’ (Choir & Organ)

‘What I love about this group—this is just their second disc—is it’s incredibly natural, it’s very forthright: they are so musical, so sensitive; we see straight through to the text … the way they listen to each other—the Tallis, these long phrases—I don’t know how they can sing it that slowly with so few singers. It really is miraculous! … I love that sense of magic that they get … not something kitsch and traditional and retrospective but something that has life in it’ (BBC Record Review)

„Unter dem schichten Titel 'Christmas' ist bei Hyperion allerdings alles andere als eine bloße Pflichtübung erschienen … gemeinsam verfügen sie [The Gesualdo Six] über eine reich sich verströmende Substanz, die Stimmen zeichnen klar, sind fein balanciert und zur edlen Verschmelzung fähig … in der Summe ist das ein eigenständiges, gelegentlich auch eigenwilliges Programm, mit schroffen, aber fruchtbaren stilistischen Wechseln auf engstem Raum“ (Klassik.com, Germany)» More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING
Jonathan Rathbone’s The oxen is an original carol. The words are Thomas Hardy’s, set by the still fireside on the turn of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. This carol highlights the more profound aspect of the season, where hope is rekindled by the birth of Jesus. Not that this hope is always obvious. Rathbone uses a rich harmonic language reminiscent of Peter Warlock to tease out Hardy’s questions and uncertainties, and to reveal beneath them a small but real hope. This carol lies on the brink of expectation, listening to the Christmas story, ‘hoping it might be so’; the question of that phrase hangs in the air, but The oxen quietly ventures an affirmative answer. It finds again, amid the darkness of Hardy’s scene and of its own harmonic setting, a glimmer of expectation.

from notes by Ted Tregear © 2015

Other albums featuring this work

What sweeter music
SIGCD182Download only
Yulefest!
Studio Master: CDA68087Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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