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Christmas with Chanticleer (Featuring Dawn Upshaw)

Chanticleer , Dawn Upshaw , John Tavener , Thomas Bold , Healey Willan , Jaakko Mantyjarvi , Welsh Traditional , Hugo Distler , Joseph Jennings Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Image of album by Chanticleer


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Called “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by the New Yorker magazine, and named 2008 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America, Chanticleer performs more than 100 concerts each year around the globe.

Chanticleer - based in San Francisco - has developed a remarkable reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to ... Read more in Amazon's Chanticleer Store

Visit Amazon's Chanticleer Store
for 52 albums, 4 photos, and 1 full streaming song.

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Christmas with Chanticleer (Featuring Dawn Upshaw) + Sing We Christmas + A Chanticleer Christmas
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Joseph Jennings
  • Composer: John Tavener, Thomas Bold, Healey Willan, Jaakko Mantyjarvi, Welsh Traditional, et al.
  • Audio CD (October 16, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Teldec
  • ASIN: B000059QW4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,627 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. This Is The Truth Sent From Above
2. A Christmas Round
3. Today The Virgin
4. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
5. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
6. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
7. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
8. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
9. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
10. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
11. Noel Nouvelet
12. A Lullaby/Away In A Manger
13. The First Nowell
14. The Three Kings
15. Die Stimme Des Kindes
16. Suo Gan
17. Spanish Carol
18. Coventry Carol
19. Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem
20. Huron Carol
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas amoungst the stars! October 18, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This must be what the angels in heaven sound llike when they sing. The voices of Chanticleer blend so beautifully that it seems as if one voice is singing 12 parts. This album is a serious must have for all those who consider music an important part of the holidays.

There is one fly in the ointment though. No disrepect to Dawn Upshaw. Her voice is beautiful but we purists don't like to hear anyone sing with Chanticleer. We even find it difficult to adjust when instrumentation is used. Hearing a piano or flute throws us into a talespin. We just don't want anything to interupt the beauty of the voices. Let's face it, how many great groups are there out there who can sing without music let alone hold a note for more than 10 seconds without wandering off the note into oblivion!

The First Nowell is sung as it was meant to be sung when it is written so long ago. Lovely harmony but not over done or severly complicated. Most of the beauty is in the message it gives. No need to over sing it.

Die Stimmes des Kindes (The Voice of the Child) is gently sung to perfection with an other worldly, etheral quality. A haunting but gentle, sweet, harmony sings the last line here, "Ein schlafend Kind! (A sleeping child), they sing (Almost as wonderous as the child Himself. Almost!) of the Christ child. Countertenors above while the basses support them as they sing a final "o still!" I literally could not move as it ended. In a trance, I somehow found my remote and hit the replay button again and again. How in the world can this music be written by mere humans? Hmmmmmm, not of this earth, you think?

The Three Kings is something I haven't heard before. The music, written by Healy Willan in 1928, includes text from a poet named Laurence Housman (1856-1959).
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The absolute highlight here is Distler's setting of "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming", a fantasia based on the familiar tune. Dawn Upshaw's solo on the third verse is especially appealing.
Also especially notable is Healey Wilan's "The Three Kings" with its hushed, reverent opening building to an ecstatic climax.
And also especially appealing is the "Mary and the Baby Medley" which includes "What Child Is This" along with a traditional German carol and two African-American spirituals.
This medley then leads into a beautiful rendition of "Stille Nacht". Definitely recommended for those who love the more classical Christmas music.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful addition to any Christmas collection December 26, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Before receiving this CD for Christmas, I'd not heard much of Chanticleer. I attended a recital of Dawn Upshaw's this past summer, so when I saw this Christmas CD, I was intrigued. After giving it a listen, I am most impressed. This is a wonderful collection of traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas songs with arrangements familiar and new. As you can see from the track listing, Ms. Upshaw is featured in a handful of the songs on this CD-it's a nice balance between songs which include her voice and those which feature just the men of Chanticleer.
As for those songs which include Ms. Upshaw (esp. "This is the truth...", "Esta noche nace un Niño", and "Stille Nacht"), her voice sounds lovely, very pure & clear of tone. Especially on "Esta noche...", her voice reminded me of Kathleen Battle's (in tone quality, flexibility, etc.).
On every single track, Chanticleer's blend is superb. Their purity of sound makes the textures of the arrangements that much more clear. I loved the arrangement of "Coventry Carol" and "Stille Nacht", especially. It's a nice change from my Cambridge Singers CD's, and I would recommend it as a wonderful addition to any Christmas collection.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Chanticleer. May 10, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Chanticleer did it again. What a wonderful collaboration. Perfect tone, clear vertical structure, and fantastic interpretation of favorite and not-so-well-known pieces. Buy this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting selections; beautiful singing October 23, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This CD is quite excellent, but I've knocked off one star for a simple reason: Dawn Upshaw. It's not that her voice isn't beautiful, but gee whiz, I wanted to hear Chanticleer! I felt that in the songs she sang, she completely dominated them, so my favorite songs on the CD are the ones which Chanticleer sings without her.
I think my favorite on this CD was "The Huron Carol." I liked it because it is something different from the usual holiday fare (I'm getting awfully bored with most of what choirs usually sing for Christmas) and it expresses a completely different understanding of the miracle of Christ's birth. If you're looking for something new for a jaded Christmas music palate, this is certainly the CD to do it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan November 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD

For nearly 25 years Chanticleer has performed a large and wide variety of music, from Gregorian Chant to the most modern fare. With its seamless blend of 12 male voices,ranging from counter-tenor to bass, the ensemble has earned international renown as "an orchestra of voices". Chanticleer was founded in 1978 by tenor Louis Botto, and was named after the 'clear-singing' rooster in Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'.

This CD offers a wide variety of choral gems, some well-known; some traditional;some in French, in German; most in English. But all of them are performed with great skill as well as exquisite tone quality. Dawn Upshaw is an added plus on this disc.

Just commenting on a few of them that captured my interest:
"A Christmas Round: Today The Virgin". Sir John Tavener joined the Russian Orthodox Church in 1977 which had a tremendous impact on his compositions. The brief text for 'A Christmas Round' is from the Orthodox Liturgy for Christmas Day. 'Today the Virgin' is a strophic setting of a text by Mother Thekla, an Orthodox nun, who has provided him with the libretti for several of his major works. In typical Russian Orthodox style, a drone is employed in the bass, and the upper voices move in parallel fifths and octaves.

"Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" (Lo, How an ever-blooming rose).Hugo Distler combines an extensive use of rediscovered forms and genres,and a very effective use of word-paintings in his music. Based on the famous tune of the same name, his setting resembles a fantasia, finally submerging the theme in rhythmic complexity as the number of voice parts expands from 4 to as many as 8.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars best Christmas recording by Chanticleer
In my opinion, this is one of their best recordings. The arrangments are diverse, a good variety. Dawn Upshaw contributes so much to their sound with her golden vocals. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Laura Sanderlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Chanticleer's Christmas albums
Simply amazing.

Now, if you simply can not abide Chanticleer singing with a guest performer, then fine, you probably won't like some of the tracks on this album. Read more
Published on December 13, 2011 by centsworth
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for Christmas, and not just for ambience
Chanticleer is an incredibly musical and blended clear-tone vocal group that performs each piece on the album with perfection and insightful musicianship. Read more
Published on January 7, 2008 by J. Handspicker
4.0 out of 5 stars A Favorite
Ah, the never-ending annual quest of a classical music fan to find unusual Christmas music. This was how I came to have 'Christmas with Chanticleer', and I count it among my best... Read more
Published on August 15, 2007 by Trotwood Traddles
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of gems.
If you are a Chanticleer purist and are turned off by the idea of someone else singing with them, I can tell you that you will miss out on a large number of some of Chanticleer's... Read more
Published on May 12, 2007 by B. Filippone
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected.
I was very disappointed when I listened to this CD. I should have paid more attention to the fact that there was another artist performing with the group before I ordered it. Read more
Published on January 18, 2007 by Ellen R. Mertz
4.0 out of 5 stars nice
These are a cappella renditions of songs from a variety of sources; Chanticleer's style gives almost all of them a distinctly medieval feel. Read more
Published on June 21, 2004 by Krista Casada
2.0 out of 5 stars Good sound but poor selections
Technicaly this is an excellent performance, however the choice of selections is doleful and does not bring much Christmas cheer to the listener. Read more
Published on December 21, 2002 by "tognewman"
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