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Whitbourn: Carolae [Eric Rieger; Daryl Robinson; Westminster Williamson Voices , James Jordan] [NAXOS:8573715]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 11 Nov 2016
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Product details

  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Composer: James Whitbourn
  • Audio CD (11 Nov. 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,302 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Digital Booklet: Whitbourn: Carolae – Music for Christmas
Digital Booklet: Whitbourn: Carolae – Music for Christmas
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Product Description

James Whitbourn is a GRAMMY® nominated composer whose music is internationally admired for its direct connection with performers and audiences, The Observer describing him as 'a truly original communicator in modern British choral music'. Carolae is a fusion of two great American and English Christmas traditions, with the Missa carolae at its heart. Whitbourn's love of medieval musical language is shown through his crafting of original melody and skilful arrangements of seasonal favourites. The music of James Whitbourn is a well-established part of the Naxos catalogue, and this Christmas release will be an attractive prospect for fans of choral music looking for a fresh approach to the traditional music of the season. The album Luminosity (8.572103) was considered 'striking [with a] glowingly committed performance' by BBC Music Magazine and admired by American Record Guide for 'Whitbourn's ability to add something new' and his 'flair for rhythm.' Still greater acclaim has been given to his Son of God Mass (8.572737), with giving it a 10/10 score as a 'gem, a masterpiece, a work that compels you to listen in a new way', and Gramophone summing it up as 'strikingly beautiful.'

Renowned American tenor Eric Rieger has performed under such conductors as John Elliot Gardner, Stefano Ranzani, Franz Welser-Möst, and Robert Shaw, and has sung leading roles with opera companies throughout Europe and beyond. Organist Daryl Robinson has earned critical acclaim as a solo and collaborative artist, praised for his innovative programming, compelling performances, and unique depth of interpretative skill. He was winner of both First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2012 American Guild of Organists National Young Artist Competition. The GRAMMY® nominated Westminster Williamson Voices, named after the founder of Westminster Choir College, John Finley Williamson, is lauded by reviewers and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Founded by James Jordan in 2003, the ensemble has quickly distinguished itself in the choral world for its distinctive artistry and compelling sound, recordings, educational outreach and its passionate mission to perform new music and forge close relationships with composers. It received a GRAMMY® nomination for its recording of Annelies by James Whitbourn in 2013.


Good Christmas music needs to be memorable. Contemporary British composer James Whitbourn's output, as heard here, hits the spot. There's so much to enjoy; unabashedly tonal harmonies which nonetheless sound fresh, the clear, bold melodic lines often drawn from medieval originals. Even his organ writing doesn't pall. And if an elite American choir decides to record an album of his music, he must be doing something right. This disc contains some enchanting moments, like the simple but electrifying brass solos which introduce Whitbourn's Veni et illumina. The big work here is the Missa carolae, commissioned for a midnight mass at Rochester Cathedral. A soft opening Processional leads to a vivid Kyrie. The mass is interspersed with two beguiling modern carols, their words provided by the late tenor Robert Tear. Whitbourn's fondness for bold gestures is almost his undoing, but you're always curious to hear where he'll take a particular chord progression or catchy melody. Inspired, exciting performances from James Jordan's Westminster Williamson Voices, who also turn in appealing readings of two traditional numbers arranged by Jordan's colleague Steve Pilkington, the Coventry Carol enlivened by some ear-tickling handbells. --Classic CDs, Dec'16

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23 December 2017
Format: MP3 DownloadVerified Purchase
11 November 2016
Format: Audio CD
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Most helpful customer reviews on 5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
Colton Martin
5.0 out of 5 starsAn album that will keep your music friends talking!!
14 November 2016 - Published on
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
4 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant recording that offers something a little different for your ...
12 November 2016 - Published on
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5 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsBravi!
11 November 2016 - Published on
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
5 people found this helpful.
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsMagical
16 November 2016 - Published on
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
4 people found this helpful.
Peter Carter
5.0 out of 5 starsBest choral Christmas CD in years!!
17 November 2016 - Published on
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.

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