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Britten: A Ceremony of Carols Import

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 9, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Stephen Layton leads the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Holst Singers in two of Benjamin Britten's most popular choral works for Christmastide. The cantata Saint Nicolas tells the story of the original Santa Claus, a fourth-century saint whose altruistic acts led to his canonization as patron saint of children and sailors. Britten's lively setting is distinctly operatic, full of atmosphere and color - with the story brought 'home' through the use of congregational hymns. The part of Nicolas (here sung magnificently by Allan Clayton, already acclaimed as the heir to Peter Pears and Anthony Rolfe Johnson) is one of Britten's great heroic tenor roles. A Ceremony of Carols is a setting for treble voices and harp of some of the Medieval texts that Britten loved so much, and is heard every Christmas in cathedrals, churches and concert halls throughout the world. This fresh, sparkling performance completes a thoroughly festive release.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Procession (A Ceremony of Carols)
  2. Wolcum Yole!
  3. There is not rose
  4. That yonge childe
  5. Balulalow
  6. As dew in Aprille
  7. This little babe
  8. Interlude
  9. In freezing winter night
  10. Spring Carol
  11. Deo gracias
  12. Recession
  13. Introduction (Saint Nicolas)
  14. The birth of Nicolas
  15. Nicolas devotes himself to God
  16. He journeys to Palestine
  17. Nicolas comes to Myra and is chosen Bishop
  18. Nicolas from Prison
  19. Nicolas and the pickled boys
  20. His piety and marvellous works
  21. The death of Nicolas


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (October 9, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: HYPERION
  • ASIN: B008R3JM74
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce A. Mcdonald on February 8, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording got excellent reviews in GRAMOPHONE magazine, and I can see why. It is Britten at his most approachable, and the performances are excellent through and through. This will make a good disc to play during Christmas season this year. Strongly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I found this recording useful to learn in preparation for our annual Christmas Cantata at church. It was a very difficult undertaking due to the lyrics being in Old English. The results were gratifying
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazon service was great! Received recording next day.
Recording quality was good.
As a choral director I disagree with some of the musical aspects of the recorded performance.Tempos are so fast that it sounds frantic instead of celebratory. Vocal tone sounds brittle in some spots.
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