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Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers Colour, CD+DVD

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Apollo's Fire
  • Conductor: Jeannette Sorrell
  • Audio CD (5 Nov. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Colour, CD+DVD
  • Label: Avie
  • ASIN: B008FGW0RC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,923 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. PROCESSIONAL: Oikan ayns Bethlehem (The Babe in Bethlehem) (Manx Gaelic Carol)
  2. Duan Nollaig (Scottish Gaelic Carol)
  3. FROM THE VESPERS OF ST KENTIGERN: Deus in adjutorium - Alleluia (Alleluia by Jeannette Sorrell)
  4. Responsorium - Gloria Patri
  5. Hymnus: Iste confessor Domini
  6. Alleluia (Jeannette Sorrell)
  7. The Road to Lisdoonvarna (Traditional Irish jig)
  8. OFFERTORY & CAROLS: Veni, veni, Emmanuel (12th-century carol)
  9. Nowell, Nowell, Tydings Trew (15th-century carol)
  10. Noël nouvelet | 15th-century French/Breton carol, Oxford English text
  11. Sussex Carol (On Christmas Night) (Traditional English)
  12. Come, My Children Dere (17th century Scottish carol, arr. Alexander Montgomerie & Jeannette Sorrell)
  13. Wat ye what I got yestreen (Skene MS, Scottish, 1715)
  14. Taladh Chriosda (Christ Child's Lullaby) | Scottish Gaelic lullaby
  15. Hodie, Christus natus est (Gregorian Antiphon to the Magnificat, Vespers for Christmas Day)
  16. FROM THE VESPERS OF ST KENTIGERN: Magnificat anima mea
  17. Antiphon de Maria ad Vesperas - Benedicamus
  18. HYMN & CAROLS: All Sons of Adam, Sing Nowell! (Tune from Forbes, Songs & Fancies, Aberdeen, 1662)
  19. What Child is This? (Tune: My Lagan Love, traditional Irish air)
  20. Usheg veg ruy (Little Red Bird) (Manx Gaelic lullaby)
  21. O'Carolan's Cup Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738)
  22. O'Carolan's Favorite Jig (Turlough O'Carolan)
  23. At Work on the Land/Tatter Jack Walsh (arr. Tina Bergmann and Jem Moore)
  24. The Seven Rejoyces of Mary (Traditional Irish carol)
  25. POSTLUDE: Christmas Eve (Irish reel)

Disc: 2

  1. Highlights from the premiere concerts at the stunning Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio (Bonus DVD)

Product Description

Sacrum Mysterium, Apollo's Fire's popular Celtic Christmas programme, arrives on CD together with a bonus DVD.

Long before Christianity took hold in Scotland and Ireland, the ancient Celts celebrated the Winter Solstice and the coming of light and hope. Jeannette Sorrell's celebration of Celtic artistic traditions interweaves selections from medieval Vespers with ancient pagan carols and popular tunes from 17th-century Welsh and Scottish manuscripts. Joyous fiddle tunes and Irish dances burst forth against the vivid backdrop of the unfolding Christ story. The colourful sounds of antiphonal bagpipes, archlute, harp, percussion, fiddles and recorders are blended in musical arrangements by Sylvain Bergeron and Sorrell. The Montreal-based early-music ensemble La Nef joins Apollo's Fire for this collaboration featuring the radiant Canadian soprano Meredith Hall. The CD is complemented with a bonus DVD featuring several songs from the album.

Personnel: Apollo's Fire, Jeannette Sorrell (harpsichord & conductor), Meredith Hall (soprano)

Critical acclaim:

"A grand holiday stew made from deliciously blended sacred and secular ingredients...An affecting and exuberant gathering...From utter simplicity to heartfelt passion." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific programme of Christmas music - and one with a compelling difference. It's a fascinating fusion of Celtic traditions in folk and art music, some going back to the 13th century and even beyond that, based on a conjectural Vespers of St Kentigern service in Glasgow Cathedral. The music, mainly Scottish and Irish in origin, covers a wide range of moods and forms including tuneful carols, solemn hymns, plainsong, lullabies, dances and jigs. The choice and arrangement of the programme result in a highly effective and enjoyable mix of sacred and profane styles, ranging from quiet contemplation of the mystery of the nativity to sheer exuberance in its celebration.

This diversity, moreover, is endowed here with a natural and satisfying unity, firstly by means of thoughtful programming, and secondly by the infectious commitment and skill of the performers. The sequence is brought to us by the excellent early music ensemble Apollo's Fire based in Cleveland, Ohio, directed by an inspired Jeannette Sorrell, and the Montreal group La Nef led by Sylvain Bergeron. The vocal pieces are taken by the lovely soprano Meredith Hall and the choir of Apollo's Fire. As for instruments, in addition to the usual range of baroque violins, viola, flutes and keyboard, at various points we also hear bagpipes, Celtic harp, archlute and percussion.

Especially fine moments, for me, are Jeannette Sorrell's contemporary and beautifully judged Alleluia (track 6), starting solemnly but soon breaking out into an ecstatic, uplifting triple-time melody; it's followed by the first of several irresistible dance movements on the disc, in this case a swinging Irish jig "The Road to Lisdoonvarna".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Every year I add 2 or 3 new CDs to my growing collection of Christmas music. I am a director of a community choir and always on the lookout for something different to inspire me and to escape the more hackneyed old carols and songs. This was a gift for my husband but it's hard to say which of us has enjoyed it most! An eclectic selection of very old carols and songs from various Celtic traditions, it is a heady mix of Christian and pagan with superb singing and glorious instrumental music on instruments such as lutes, harp, pipes. As well as this most gorgeous CD you get a short (20 minute) DVD of highlights from the CD in concert format. A true gem and a lucky find.

No better gift for music lovers and singers at Christmas!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Recommended...the best album of celtic Christmas songs I've come across. A good introduction to Irish folk music, Gregorian chant etc.
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