Eternity suspended in an hour, Canterbury Carols
offers the traditional English celebration of the Christmas message. You don't need to be a believer to be touched deeply by this programme, for there is something so unutterably English, yet at once universal, that the simple beauty of these carols can move even the most stoic Englishman to shed a tear.
Though virtually every one of the 16 carols is instantly recognised, there is no complacency. "Silent Night" is sung in the original German in a new arrangement with a fine lullaby quality. There is a dynamic treatment of the "Sussex Carol", and John Rutter's "Candlelit Carol" is clothed in majesty. "O Come all Ye Faithful", "While Shepherds Watched", "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and others are restored to glory, while "The Little Road to Bethlehem" is revealed as a modern classic. With fine choral and solo singing, and a closing Toccata for Organ by Theodore Dubois, this is as rounded and complete a carol service as one could hope for. The ambisonic recording certainly appears to lend great depth to the sound. The Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral is an anthology of classical Church music, while a refreshingly different seasonal celebration is A Danish Christmas.--Gary S Dalkin
Canterbury Carols : The Chior of Canterbury Cathedral, Directed by David Flood. Michael Harris, Organ [Audio CD ].