Nowell sing we: Contemporary Carols, Volume 2

Nowell sing we: Contemporary Carols, Volume 2

Regular price $16.84
Total playing time [72:35]

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Choir of Worcester College, Oxford
Stephen Farr

Following on from the universal critical acclaim of their first album with Resonus, This Christmas Night, the Choir of Worcester College, Oxford - under the direction of Stephen Farr - return with a second album of contemporary Christmas Carols.

Entitled Nowell sing we, this new selection contains works from a wide variety of celebrated composers including Gabriel Jackson, Peter Maxwell Davies, Lennox Berkeley, Colin Matthews, Francis Pott, Edmund Rubbra, Richard Rodney Bennett & Herbert Howells among many others, with no fewer than nine world premieres. Also featured throughout the programme are the seven O Antiphon Preludes for solo organ by Nico Muhly, performed here by Stephen Farr on the organ of Keble College, Oxford.

Album Booklet (PDF)

Tracklist

Gabriel Jackson
1. Nowell sing we

Edmund Rubbra
2. The Virgin’s Cradle Hymn

Lennox Berkeley
3. Sweet was the song *

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
4. O Sapientia

Richard Rodney Bennett
5. Puer Nobis

John Scott
6. Nova! nova!

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
7. O Adonai

Colin Matthews
8. The Angels’ Carol *

Herbert Howells
9. O mortal man

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
10. O Radix Jesse

Peter Maxwell Davies
11. Kings and Shepherds *

Philip Moore
12. Lo, that is a marvellous change *

Giles Swayne
13. O magnum mysterium

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
14. O Clavis David

Hafliði Hallgrímsson
15. Christ was born on Christmas Day *

Richard Rodney Bennett
16. I Saw Three Ships

Francis Pott
17. Lute-Book Lullaby *

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
18. O Oriens

Grayston Ives
19. This is the record of John *

Richard Lloyd
20. Drop down, ye heavens

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
21. O Rex Gentium

Michael Finnissy
22. Ave regina coelorum

Richard Rodney Bennett
23. Nowell, nowell, tidings true *

Jamie W. Hall
24. As I lay upon a night *

Nico Muhly
O Antiphon Preludes
25. O Emmanuel

* world premiere recording

'[...] would that all new Christmas issues were as fresh and enterprising as this one! There isn't a routine setting among them, and many are strikingly successful [...] Stephen Farr directs well-contrasted performances'

- BBC Music Magazine (Christmas Choice 2014, 5 stars)

'[...] would that all new Christmas issues were as fresh and enterprising as this one! There isn't a routine setting among them, and many are strikingly successful [...] Stephen Farr directs well-contrasted performances'
BBC Music Magazine (Christmas Choice 2014, 5 stars performance & sound)

'I was struck by this one particularly because all the music was unfamiliar, including the startling solo organ interludes – all from Nico Muhly’s O Antiphon Preludes and dazzlingly played by Stephen Farr. The Choir of Worcester College, Oxford is beautifully blended and varied in sound.'
The Observer

'[...] a most impressive collection of contemporary carols [...] superbly detailed, even within this rich acoustic, and the outstanding choral contributions, under Stephen Farr, are interlinked with seven Nico Muhly organ antiphons, brilliantly played by Farr [...] A magnificent example of the modern gramophone at its best'
International Record Review

'It is a perceptive choice of repertoire by conductor (and organist) Stephen Farr [...] sung with great confidence and accuracy in acoustics that allow just enough air to circulate around the sound.'
Gramophone

'[...] it is good to know that choral music of this standard continues to be written and that accomplished choirs continue to record it [...] it is also rather special and those who appreciate contemporary choral music will treasure it.'
Cross Rhythms

'Highlights of the Worcester College CD are the first recording of Lennox Berkeley's 'Sweet was the song', Gabriel Jackson's short and sweet title track and works by Colin Matthews and Michael Finnissy [...] Nico Muhly's brilliant 'O Antiphon' preludes for solo organ provide effective punctuation, immaculately played by [Stephen] Farr'
Choir and Organ

'I thought the first, This Christmas Night, ‘sufficiently different not to get lost in the welter of seasonal recordings’ and the second is just as fine.[...] all enjoyable and all well-sung'
MusicWeb International

'Here is another enjoyable collection of contemporary Christmas music. It is recorded in the spacious acoustic of the college chapel to good effect.
Lark Reviews

Credits
© 2014 Resonus Limited
Ⓟ 2014 Resonus Limited
Catalogue No. RES10138
Producer, engineer & editor: Adam Binks
Cover Image: Nativity by Bernardo Daddi (1290-1350)