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A Carol Symphony [CD]

Victor Hely-Hutchinson , City of Prague Symphony Orchestra , Gavin Sutherland , Bryan Kelly , Peter Warlock , et al. Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: £7.38 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

A Carol Symphony + Vaughan Williams: Fantasia On Christmas Carols, Hodie + Finzi: In Terra Pax | A Christmas Anthology (Christmas Music) (City of London Choir) (Naxos)
Price For All Three: £20.38

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Product details

  • Conductor: Gavin Sutherland
  • Composer: Victor Hely-Hutchinson, Bryan Kelly, Peter Warlock, Philip Lane, Patric Standford
  • Audio CD (4 Nov 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00006RHPV
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Bryan Kelly - Improvisations on Christmas Carols
2. Victor Hely-Hutchinson - A Carol Symphony
3. Peter Warlock - Bethlehem Down, a carol for strings
4. Philip Lane - Wassail Dances
5. Patric Standford - A Christmas Carol Symphony

Product Description

This new recording on the Naxos label makes a pleasant change from the usual seasonal compilations of hymns or pop songs. It takes its name from the most substantial work on the disc--Victor Hely-Hutchinson's A Carol Symphony--which is complemented with three other symphonic pieces based on Christmas music.

First up is Bryan Kelly's Improvisations on Christmas Carols, a five-movement work based on well-known tunes such as "Past three o'clock" and "I saw three ships". Hely-Hutchinson's work follows. It is symphonic in structure and based on popular carols too, the highlight being the slow third movement where the spine-tingling "Coventry Carol" melts into a magical arrangement of "The First Nowell".

Arrangements by Philip Lane of Warlock and traditional English wassails break up the carolling before Patric Standford's A Christmas Carol Symphony rounds off the disc. It's rousing opening movement combines three jolly carols--"Deck the Halls", "Ding dong merrily on high" and "God rest ye merry gentlemen"--before "Away in a manger" takes over for the second. The grand finale brings together a myriad of carols and songs--I counted nine, but there could be more. --Rebecca Agnew

Product Description

A collection of British symphonic Christmas music.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
By P. A. Murphy VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
If you’re seeking a quieter, more restful and (dare I say) traditional form of Christmas Spirit than you’re getting from Slade, Wizzard and Phil Spector, then here’s something very beautiful: a collection of classical, orchestral pieces all themed around the Yuletide season.
Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s splendid Carol Symphony (the third movement of which achieved greater fame in the 1980s as the creepy-but-festive theme to the BBC series “The Box Of Delights”) appears here in one of perhaps only two recent (and available) recordings and is beautifully played/ recorded. This alone justifies Naxos’ bargain price!
But let’s not ignore the remaining tracks. Each one is a miniature gem that manages to capture something of a festive feel, whether it be the happy, cheeky crispness of Bryan Kelly’s Carol Improvisations and Philip Lane’s Wassail Dances (the modest Lane also writes the sleevenotes) or the solemn, gentle, melancholic flipside represented by a most alarmingly beautiful arrangement of Peter Warlock’s Bethlehem Down (originally for voices, here played by strings) or Patrick Standford’s jubilant Christmas Carol Symphony. Whatever it is about Christmas music that makes it “Christmassy” is represented in spades on this unassumingly priced CD. A word of warning though: it makes for odd listening any time outside of the Festive Season – exercise caution playing it in June!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seasonal music 3 Jan 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Remembered as the signature tune of the radio version of 'The Box of Delights' this music has been played annually in our household on a regular basis, originally as a vinyl LP and then as a CD of the same version. When a family member wanted his own copy now that he no longer lives 'at home' I bought this more recently recorded CD as a Christmas present.
Maybe it is because I was so familiar with the other one that I found this rather slower version lacked some of the familiar charm and sparkle. Anyone not so familiar with the piece might not be so fussy!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Carol Symphony 9 May 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I initially came to this recording in search of the music from the television program A Box of Delights, and would have been delighted to get just that. However I got so much more, this is a rich evocative tapestry of my own childhood mixed with other music that I wished I had always known. This is truly A Symphony Of Delights.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hely Huchinson's Carol Symphony 29 Jan 2009
Format:Audio CD
Just the right music to set the mood for mulled wine and mince pies.
Inspirational for writing cards and wrapping parcels
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This album is a lovely CD. It's a superb mix of traditional Carols and old Christmas songs. No Dreaming of a White Christmas but lots of music which is a brilliant background top your Christmas Day or the run up when you want something soothing for the crazy, commercial rat race. I heard some of it on Classic FM and just HAD TO HAVE IT
Doug Hutson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas off the beaten track 22 Jan 2011
By Emmagos
Format:Audio CD
I heard a movement from the Hely Hutchinson symphony on the radio and decided I wanted to hear more. This CD is a lovely mix of less well known arrangements of Christmas carols. I am sure it will come out every Christmas from now on as a change from the usual recordings of sung carols.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of Christmas magic 12 Dec 2009
Format:Audio CD
Thirteen days to go, and a Merry Christmas 2009 to all of you. If you're looking for a seasonal CD at the last minute, and you don't want the nth compilation of the best-known carols - here they are again. However, each of these compositions is an orchestral work based on several different carols; a few of these are lesser-known wassails. You could say that each of the five works is a different "Fantasia on Christmas Carols".

As mentioned by the earliest reviewer, the Hely-Hutchinson symphony provided the theme for the BBC's "Box of Delights" (buy the DVD of this as well!). This was the route by which I found this CD, as I had never knowingly heard any of these works before.

As usual with Naxos, beautifully performed and recorded despite the bargain price.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 23 May 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Hely-Hutchinson Carol Symphony is my Christmas day sound-track. The arrangement of "The First Nowell" is simply magical - it sounds like snowfall - for me it's looking out of a night-time window into a heavily clouded night sky & watching huge snowflakes swirling towards you.

This is a beautiful CD and worth every penny.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Really rather pleasant.
Published 1 month ago by Samhaingeal
5.0 out of 5 stars I have always loved Christmas Carols
Lovely music; part of the Helly-Hutchinson piece was used as the introductory music to the BBC series 'The Box of Delights'. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ursula Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars Carol symphony
Due to a delay in postage the cd arrived after Christmas unfortunately, but it was exactly what I wanted to get away from the usual round of carols so I can`t wait for next... Read more
Published 6 months ago by mikeb
4.0 out of 5 stars HH
This is a wonderful Christmas treat. Not my favourite recording but solid if a bit too fast. When the carols become too much put this on and Christmas is seen in another light.
Published 6 months ago by HSJ Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars A carol Symphony
Fantastic collection of pieces, really captures the spirit of Christmas! Also bought Vaughan Williams carol collection which was equally good - would recommend both
Published 8 months ago by Margaret Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Box Of Delights Fans
I always wanted the full version of the First Nowell in Carol Symphony and this CD supplies this and more. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr Neil Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound of Christmas
My favourite cd for listening to at Christmas time was John Rutter but this will probably get played just as much each year from now on. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sally Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Symphony
When I downloaded the Carol Symphony by Hely-Hutchinson I was surprised to find so many of the Christmas favourites that I loved as a child, reworked into music which was new to... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. M. Ryder
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great Christmas Music
A very worthwhile disc of Christmas music. The Hely-Hutchinson has been recorded before, but some of the other pieces are, I think, rarities. A disc worth investigating.
Published 20 months ago by VESPERTILIO
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Chrismas CD
This came almost as soon as it was ordered and its a lovely CD very appropriate for this time of year.
Published 20 months ago by yorkie kim
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