Aled Jones travels to far distant places around the world, to source the origins of some of our favourite Christmas Carols. Interspersed at strategic points within the documentary are vocal performances by Aled himself, Libera and The Adventist Vocal Ensemble.
The venue (St Bartholomew the Great, City of London) provides a dramatic backdrop and sets an authentic stage for the carols. The lighting, production and filming was of an exceptional standard. The behind the Scenes extra revealed over 2,500 candles were lit; most of these guided an atmospheric walkway the length of the floor for the Libera boys to walk down towards the high altar as they were singing holding candles of their own.
A particular delight for me was the inclusion of the world-renowned boys choir Libera, who got to perform two carols (Gaudete and While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night) on their own. Liam (Connery) performed a stunning solo opening to `Gaudete'; Josh (Madine) a sweet and angelic solo beginning too `Once in Royal David's City', and Ben (Philipp) was confident and faultless with his solo contribution during `While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night'.
Libera also assisted Aled on most of his carols, and the collaboration of Aled's strong tenor voice with the ethereal treble voices of the choir worked like a dream. The inclusion of the full choir added further weight to the soaring harmonies and spine tingling descants as most of the carols reached their climatic conclusion.
The Adventist Vocal Ensemble gave an uplifting and unique rendition of Mary's Boy Child. I will be sure to find more about them in the future.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and feel good factor festive music DVD, that would stand proud at the front of anyone's Christmas music collection.