A Boy was Born: Christmas Music by Britten & Vaughan Williams | Australian Eloquence ELQ4840781

A Boy was Born: Christmas Music by Britten & Vaughan Williams

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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4840781

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Christmas

Release Date: 9th August 2019

Contents

Artists

Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Rachel Masters (harp)
Peter Barley (organ)
Ladies from the Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Hervey Alan (bass-baritone)
London Symphony Orchestra

Conductors

Stephen Cleobury
David Willcocks

Works

Britten, Benjamin

A Boy was Born, op.3
A Ceremony of Carols, op.28
Rejoice in the Lamb, op.30

Vaughan Williams, Ralph

Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Artists

Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Rachel Masters (harp)
Peter Barley (organ)
Ladies from the Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Hervey Alan (bass-baritone)
London Symphony Orchestra

Conductors

Stephen Cleobury
David Willcocks

About

Eighty minutes of Christmas at King’s: reference Argo recordings of Britten and Vaughan Williams capturing both the magic and joy of the season as well as the resonant glory of a famous acoustic.

Britten’s genius as a choral composer centred around his ability to write rewarding parts for amateurs and young singers; his choice of treasurable texts, set and scored in a way which makes his music seem the only possible partner for the words; and a technical command which can achieve those perfect settings. All these attributes are evident in the trio of Christmas works on this collection: an early and virtuosic carol symphony, A Boy was Born; and a pair of small masterpieces from the 1940s, A Ceremony of Carols and Rejoice in the Lamb.

Specifically designated for treble voices, the Ceremony finds a natural home in the uniquely atmospheric setting of King’s College Chapel. The King’s choir has made several recordings though none so consistently praised as this one, made for Decca and directed in 1990 by Stephen Cleobury, near the beginning of a tenure which only now draws to a close, having affirmed and developed the centuries-old tradition of all.

Recording location: King’s College, Cambridge, UK
- 1 August 1962 (Vaughan Williams)
- 19 March, 21–23 September and 12–13 December 1990 (Britten)
Original releases:
- Decca 433 215-2 (Britten)
- Argo ZRG 5333 (Vaughan Williams)

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