EMR CD035 | DETAILS
  EMR CD035
   
  CAROLS FROM COVENTRY
A tribute to Sir David Willcocks
  Saint Michael’s Singers | Paul Leddington Wright (dir.)
   
  Release date: 17 November 2015 | EAN 5 060263 500360

Sir David Willcocks, who died in September 2015 at the age of 95, is probably best known as Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, from 1957 to 1974; he was subsequently Director of the Royal College of Music, and was conductor for many years of The Bach Choir. Since the 1960s, his iconic arrangements of favourite Christmas carols have become an essential part of the festive season, through the annual broadcast of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s, through recordings, and through the books of ‘Carols for Choirs’ which he edited and to which he contributed many carol arrangements - now known and loved by choirs around the world.


In this memorial tribute to an inspirational and well-loved musician, Saint Michael’s Singers of Coventry Cathedral perform a selection of the best of David Willcocks’ carol arrangements together with some new compositions and arrangements from ‘Carols for Choirs’ vol.5.


Saint Michael’s Singers, an auditioned choir of some 90 voices, was formed in 1963 shortly after the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, and performs in concerts in Coventry and around the Midlands, as well as in broadcasts and recordings.

TRACK LISTING
     
1. ‘O come, all ye faithful’
(J.F.Wade, arr. David Willcocks)
   
2. ‘Of the Father's heart begotten’
(Piae Cantiones, arr. David Willcocks)
 
3. ‘A child is born in Bethlehem’
(Scheidt, ed. David Willcocks)
 
4. ‘Sans Day Carol’
(Cornish trad., arr. John Rutter)
 
5. ‘Tomorrow shall be my dancing day’
(English trad., arr. David Willcocks)
   
6. ‘Once in royal David’s city’
(H.J. Gauntlett, arr. David Willcocks)
   
7. ‘Infant holy, Infant lowly’
(Polish trad., arr. David Willcocks)
   
8. ‘Hark! the herald-angels sing’
(Mendelssohn, arr. David Willcocks)
   
9. ‘Away in a manger’
(W.J. Kirkpatrick, arr. David Willcocks)
   
10. ‘Ding dong! merrily on high’
(16th century French, arr. David Willcocks)
   
11. ‘Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing?’
(French trad., arr. David Willcocks)
   
12. ‘God rest you merry, gentlemen’
(English trad., arr. David Willcocks)
   
13. ‘This endris night’ (World Première recording)
(15th century English, adapted Z. Randall Stroope)
   
14. ‘The First Nowell’
(English trad., arr. David Willcocks)
   
15. ‘Silent Night’
(F. Gruber, arr. Paul Leddington Wright)
   
16. The Bell Carol
(Philip Ledger)
   
17. ‘Unto us is born a Son’
(Piae Cantiones, arr. David Willcocks)
   
18. ‘Wassail’ (World Première recording)
(English trad., Jonathan Willcocks)
   
19. ‘Jingle Bells’
(J. Pierpont, arr. David Willcocks)
   

 

REVIEWS
Beautifully shaped by Benjamin Frith... Beguiling sounds, graced by the tawny richness and unexaggerated line of Richard Jenkinson’s cello playing... The sense of purpose and sureness of line of Ian Venables’ music is pure oxygen.
EMR CD31 | BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Exquisitely rewarding... Ravishing accounts.
EMR CD029 | CHOIR AND ORGAN
This is music of great beauty and integrity and the performances fully do it justice. It would be criminal to let it pass you by.

EMR CD028 | INTERNATIONAL
RECORD REVIEW

The Bridge Quartet approach these pieces with a sympathetic and insightful warmth, and confirm their ambassadorial credentials for British chamber music. A lovely, radiant disc.
EMR CD025 | Gramophone
Duncan Honeybourne’s playing is astonishingly affectionate, yet never saccharine... Honeybourne plays with suave confidence.
EMR CD024 | INTERNATIONAL PIANO
Rupert Marshall-Luck is an ideal interpreter: generously but not effusively lyrical; agile and athletic... The warm, folk-song like slow movement is at times almost painfully beautiful, with a shimmering pastoral central section... Marshall-Luck is, again, indefatigable and keenly picks up on the work’s melancholic strain.  Finely recorded and with comprehensive booklet notes, this is a must for fans of 20th-century English repertoire.
EMR CD023 | THE STRAD