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A Christmas Festival


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Audio CD, October 14, 2008
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$16.35
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Adeste fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful) (arr. D. Willcocks)Cambridge Singers 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Piae Cantiones: GaudateFarnham Youth Choir 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Shepherd's CarolCambridge Singers 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Nos Galan (New Year's Eve)Elin Manahan Thomas 2:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I wonder as I wanderMelanie Marshall 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Ave MariaCambridge Singers 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tomorrow shall be my dancing dayFarnham Youth Choir 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Rejoice and Be MerryCambridge Singers 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. El Noi de la Mare (The Son of the Virgin)Clara Sanabras 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. A Christmas OvertureRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra 7:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Born on a New Day (arr. P. Knight)Cambridge Singers 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Magical KingdomFarnham Youth Choir 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Mary's Boy Child (arr. J. Rutter)Melanie Marshall 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Esta noche (This Night)Clara Sanabras 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. 3 Small Tone Poems: No. 2. Winter Night (Sleigh Ride)Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Virgin Mary Had A Baby BoyMelanie Marshall 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. New YearCambridge Singers 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. I Wish You ChristmasFarnham Youth Choir 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Festgesang, MWV D4, "Gutenberg-Kantate": No. 2. (adap. W.H. Cummings as Hark! The Herald Angels Sing) (arr. D. Willcocks)Farnham Youth Choir 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (arr. J. Rutter)Melanie Marshall 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

A Christmas Festival + Christmas Star: Carols for the Christmas Season + The John Rutter Christmas Album
Price for all three: $40.18

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Product Details

  • Performer: Melanie Marshall, John Anderson, Clara Sanabras, Elin Manahan Thomas, Andrew Williams
  • Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: John Rutter
  • Composer: John Rutter
  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collegium Records
  • ASIN: B001E442OG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,445 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

It was great to add some new Christmas music to our collection.
JLW
The collection is enhanced as well by the addition of the Farnham Youth Choir and soloists Elin Manahan Thomas, Clara Sanabras, and Melanie Marshall.
Timothy Kearney
If you love chamber/choir music, you'll love this christmas cd and will looking forward to pulling it our every year.
RebeccaL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on December 3, 2008
Format: Audio CD
While Christmas music is not the only specialty of John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers, it seems that he and this musical ensemble have an affinity for the music of the holiday season. This is evident in his newest release A CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL.

Seasoned fans of earlier releases, as well as people new to Rutter and the Cambridge Singers will find much to enjoy in A CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL. For new listeners, the beauty will be astounding. For longtime fans, it has everything that made his earlier releases with both Clare College and the Cambridge Singers quality recordings but offers something different too. One noticeable difference in this collection from earlier releases is the accompaniment of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which gives the orchestral arrangements a more fulsome sound. The majestic sound of the orchestra enhances the vocal beauty of the Cambridge Singers. The collection is enhanced as well by the addition of the Farnham Youth Choir and soloists Elin Manahan Thomas, Clara Sanabras, and Melanie Marshall. Most of the arrangements are by Rutter and he brings the music to life with the musicians at his disposal. The collection includes traditional carols, orchestral pieces including Delius' "Sleigh Ride" which differs from the better known compositions of Mozart and Anderson. The collection has a variety of titles and styles ranging from the traditional "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" to contemporary favorites such as "Mary's Boy Child" to the original such as the Caribbean "The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy." We also have some compositions by Rutter himself with serenity and beauty that make any Rutter collection worthwhile.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By LibraCyn on December 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have all of Rutter's Christmas CD's and have admired the Cambridge Singers for years. This Christmas compilation does not meet the same standard as Rutter's earlier holiday collections. Although his arrangements are varied and interesting, it appears that Rutter, sucked into the mainstream of secular-style Christmas music, has sold out in order to reach a wider audience. With full-vibrato-ed voices, the women soloists sound more like pop singers. The purity and clarity of tone he strove to achieve in the 80'sand 90's have been disregarded in favor of a more glitzy, thin sound. I hope that someday he will return to the more elegant and ethereal quality of choral music that he is so capable of producing.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gregor von Kallahann on December 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
It's not surprising that when my local classical FM station (WMHT in Schenectady, NY in case you want to check out the online streaming version) was doing their annual fundraiser this December, they offered copies of John Rutter's new holiday release A CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL as one of its incentive gifts for pledges of $100. When it comes to choral singing, John Rutter's Cambridge Singers are pretty much the gold standard.

What actually was a surprise was learning that this is the new first holiday themed release Rutter has released in over TWENTY years. His Christmas recordings have been radio staples and personal favorites of my own for such a long time, that I hadn't even been thinking how long it had been since a new one had actually appeared.

On this release, the Cambridge Singers are joined by The Farnham Youth Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, making for a varied and often lively program. Almost any British choral society could easily get away with limiting their selection to the vast storehouse of classic English carols, and while Rutter is not hesitant to offer up same, his selection of the lesser known (at--I suspect--least to an American audience) "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," demonstrates great originality and resourcefulness even on that front. But Rutter's wide ranging sensibility incorporates many more traditions here: the Welsh carol "Nos Galan" is better known in the English speaking world as "Deck The Halls" but Rutter restores the original Welsh text (actually a New Year's carol), which is sung beautifully by Elin Manahan Thomas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rich Rogers on October 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
John Rutter is an amazing composer. I've had the privilege of singing many of his arrangements, and I've also had the privilege of spending five years singing under the composer who has recently supplanted him as the bestselling choral arranger in the world, Mack Wilberg.

There is one flaw that I have noticed in the Cambridge Singers Christmas CDs. Rutter loves American Spirituals and jazz, and often includes arrangements of pieces like "Go Tell it On the Mountain." The problem is, 28 voices trained in the British/European cathedral style of singing just aren't muscular enough to really pull of the spirituals. With the addition of a second choir here, the spirituals work better.

This is not a bad entrant into the Rutter canon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leo on December 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This new CD is stunning with wonderful music from various composers. some new to me, and, a wonderful new John Rutter composition. This orchestral and choral recording just adds the richness and beautfy to all of the music offered. I have been a church organist for many years and have had the wonderful opportunity of playing Mr. Rutter's music, as well as other wonderful choral anthems of other British composers. I highly recommend this to all viewers!!!

Carroll L. Heath
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