Himmelslieder: Songs of Heaven | SWR Classic SWR19015CD

Himmelslieder: Songs of Heaven


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Label: SWR Classic

Cat No: SWR19015CD

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 27th May 2016



Christmas carols from around Europe follow similar themes - angelic choirs, lullabies and hymns to the Virgin Mary. Yet the carols of different countries and regions sound distinctive. This is because Christmas, more than any other celebration, is so deeply rooted in a nation's folk culture. The Christmas settings in this collection comprise music from the Middle Ages to the present day, from an anonymous 15th-century composer to Jan Sandström.

The highlight of the album is Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, a work built on old carols and considered one of the most attractive of all Christmas cantatas. Magnificat Antiphons by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt also looks back to the Middle Ages, and is a magical synthesis of ancient and modern sounds. Poulenc’s Christmas Motets inhabit a completely different sound world, in which the composer fills a backcloth of mystery with intense colours.

Completing the album is the set of Henrich Kaminski's Christmas songs – light, graceful and stylishly composed. This CD is perfect for anyone looking for a satisfying selection of captivating Christmas choral music in thrilling performances.

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