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4.6 out of 5 stars18
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 3 March 2002
I first became aware of Hodie when I performed the work in high school. While it is true that Vaughn-Williams does use a variety of styles, this is much more than a compendium of musical approaches. Each style is well chosen to provide an appropriate context for the words in a way matched by few composers - intimate in "The Oxen", hushed and reverential in "No sad thought his soul affright", and imposing and even majesterial in "The March of the Three Kings". I can't imagine how anyone could listen to the Epilogue (especially as performed here) with it's quoting of the beginning of St. John's gospel without being utterly moved.
Because of the beauty of the work (only a critic would give it "bad press") and the quality of the performance, it quickly became one of my most beloved recordings, defining for me how this work should be performed just as Karl Richter's Mass in b Minor and Colin Davis's Mozart Requiem have. The singers all have incredibly beautiful voices and each use their voice very sensitively. Just listen to John Shirley-Quirk's simple yet eloquent singing in "The Oxen", describing the animals in the manger on their knees or Janet Baker's "Lullaby" with a beauty that can bring tears to your eyes. Richard Lewis likewise provides a good range from the heroic to the sensitive - one of the best performances of his I have heard. The choral work is likewise fantastic. I have been searching for this work on CD for years to replace my well-loved but somewhat worn-out LP copy and am delighted that it is finally available. If you love choral music, Vaughn-Williams's work, or just appreciate beautiful singing, I would strongly urge you to purchase this recording while it is still available.
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on 11 March 2007
I bought this a couple of years ago and return to it regularly - a sure sign of a good recording. I like the music of Vaughan Williams and this is a good example of his music. The Fantasia was a big surprise - its a lovely setting of some well known carols. John Barrow has a superb baritone voice. The Hodie takes a little more getting into but it is worth the effort. Both choirs and orchestra have good sounds. At this price you can't go wrong!
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on 21 December 2008
The 'Hodie' is sublime, The opening chorus - towering and exuberant - makes one's hair stand on end. The closing line of the first narration "he shall be called great" is thrilling. I can't find anything to fault in this glorious recording - take some time out and catch up with the real spirit of Christmas.
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on 22 August 2010
From the outset this recording shows quality in performance as well as clarity. The voice of Dame Janet Baker has never been bettered and on this recording conveys a dimension of emotion which is
remarkable.
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on 14 December 2010
Hodie - has thrilling settings of wonderful words -
Milton, Hardy, and Herbert and some moving lines from Ursula VW

'Gold from the veins of the earth he brings,
red gold to crown the King of Kings'

The vintage recording is rich and warm and the
singing lives - a real performance.

'Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears,
If you have power to touch our senses so;...'

Here, indeed, is music which heralds Christmas,
with power to touch our senses.
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on 9 February 2014
Lovely collection of pieces, lyrical and calming rather than jolly. Avoid it if you want music for a Christmas party, otherwise I really recommend this.
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on 6 December 2013
Hodie is a huge piece - soloists, choir, orchestra, over 50 minutes long - written in 1954, RVW's last big work. I'm a huge committed fan, but have to confess that, after listening a number of times, I'm not quite there yet with it. However, it's full of recognisable RVW touches and will no doubt repay a few more hearings. Slightly congested sound. Fully engaged performance. The accompanying Christmas Carols Fantasia is terrific.
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on 21 March 2013
This recording was destined for success. The LSO and naturally a world-famous conductor, a wonderful cathedral choir, and music by Vaughan Williams admirably suited to the season . It has all the right ingredients.
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on 26 December 2015
The Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas carols and the HODIE are amazing and completely and utterly evoke glory of Christmas. The disc was in excellent condition. Many thanks.
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on 7 January 2013
Made a great xmas present. why am I wasting time writing sixteen unnecessary words just to fill in space I wonder
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