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on 29 November 2009
This album provides a wonderful blend of songs and carols both old and new. It starts with a suave swingle singer type arrangement of jingle bells. There are a few traditional carols like Silent Night arr. by Jonathan Rathbone which ends with the purist (and most breathtaking) of soprano high notes! There is a judicious sprinkling of carols by John Rutter. Having bought Rutter's own Christmas Album a few years ago, I was convinced that these versions would not be bettered. I was wrong. 'What Sweeter Music' is sung to organ accompaniment which helps to make it less saccharine than the Cambridge Singers' version. The diction, balance, beauty of tone, phrasing and 'reverence' are outstanding. 'There is a flower' and 'Nativity Carol' are also included. I had not heard 'A Spotless Rose' by Howells before and this repays repeated listening. The other highlights of the collection are Tavener's 'The Lamb' a quasi medieval carol with the most scrumptious dissonances that you'll want to hear again many times! Andrew Carter's highly accomplished arrangement of 'I wonder as I wander' is another favourite of mine. How the choir relish the sometimes surprising cadences! Again it is magnificently sung. It is fascinating to compare this arrangement with Rutter's own and difficult to chose a favourite between them. Inspite of the fact that Advent has not yet begun, I have listened repeatedly to this album and still marvel at the beauty of the singing and sensitivity of the conducting. 'What Sweeter Music' is aptly named and I am sure you will enjoy it!!!
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on 19 January 2012
The singing on this CD is a joy to listen to. Even the first song, which seems slightly out of place with the other carols and seasonal pieces, becomes 'art', with its unusual harmonies and precision performance. These singers, to me, represent a similar peak of human achievement to those of a good string or wind ensemble: each member an artist in their own right.
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on 31 December 2011
Good selection of popular and traditional, old and new carols, all exquisitely sung. This choir must rank in the top handful in the world at the moment.
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on 20 August 2014
An extremely high quality collection of songs and carols for Christmas. Way better than the usual fare you get offered; if you want an example of good Christmas choral music sung well, then this is it. Tenebrae at their usual best.
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on 3 January 2014
Tenebrae bring back the true sounds of Christmas with magnificent choral singing. Such artistry. Can only look forward to next Christmas's disk as well.
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on 26 December 2013
Heard the last track on Classicfm, so bought the disc.
Well worth listening to. The arrangement of 12 dyas of Christmas is still the highlight
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on 14 January 2016
Did'nt like the 'modern' arrangements for the traditional songs.
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