Following the release of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, BR-Klassik now presents a new CD in the spirit of the Yuletide season. On this CD, entitled Hark, the Herald Angels Sing! the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Florian Helgath performs traditional and beloved German holiday classics along with carols from the Tyrol, France and Italy. Framing this richly varied program at beginning and end is the 16th century carol Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose e'er Blooming). Besides the well-known version by Praetorius at the beginning, the recording concludes with a version composed by Jan Sandström in 1990. It features the (untouched) setting by Praetorius cloaked in a hummed, gently changing cloud of music.
In between selections, oboist François Leleux enriches the CD with restful instrumental intermezzi and virtuosic touches.
Each track is a treat in itself. Performance ***** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2013