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CHAN 5096
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CHAN 5096

On Christmas Night

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2011

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio File
Originally recorded in 2011

Artists:

Andrew Nethsingha


John Challenger

organ

Choir of St John's College, Cambridge



Venue:

St John's College Chapel, Cambridge



Producer:

Rachel Smith



Engineer:

Jonathan Cooper



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Choir


Christmas

Total Time - 73:09
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JOHN RUTTER

(b. 1945)
1 

What sweeter music

4:35
  For Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge  
  Andante tranquillo  
 John Challenger organ
 

TRADITIONAL FRENCH

2 

Noel nouvelet

3:36
  Arranged by Stephen Jackson (b. 1951)  
  For the Choir of St Peter ad Vincula, H.M. Tower of London  
  Julius Foo treble  
  Moderato - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I  
 John Challenger organ
 

JAMES BURTON

(b. 1974)
3 

Balulalow

2:25
  Gentle  
 

WILLIAM MATHIAS

(1934-1992)
4 

A babe is born, Op. 55

3:24
  Giocosos, alla danza  
 John Challenger organ
 

HAROLD DARKE

(1888-1976)
5 

In the bleak mid-winter

4:46
  To M.A.C.  
  Julian Gregory tenor  
  Moderato e tranquillo  
 John Challenger organ
 

TRADITIONAL FRENCH

6 

Ding! dong! merrily on high

2:48
  Arranged by Mack Wilberg (b. 1955)  
  For the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Craig Jessop, Music Director  
  Freddie James second organ part  
  Quickly, with articulation  
 John Challenger organ
 

ELIZABETH POSTON

(1905-1987)
7 

Jesus Christ the apple tree

3:16
   
 

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH

8 

I saw three ships

2:02
  Arranged by Philip Marshall (1921-2005)  
  To K.J.  
  Allegro ritmico  
 John Challenger organ
 

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT

(b. 1936)
9 

Out of your sleep

1:44
  For Michael Nicholas and the Choir of St Matthew's Church, Northampton  
  Allegro fluente - Poco sostenuto e tranquillo  
 

PETER WARLOCK

(1894-1930)
10 

Benedicamus Domino

1:25
  Quick  
 

JOHN JOUBERT

(b. 1927)
11 

There is no rose

2:47
  Andantino semplice - Poco più lento - Lento  
 

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH

12 

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

2:00
  Arranged by Sir David Willcocks (b. 1919)  
  Allegretto  
 

MATTHEW MARTIN

(b. 1976)
13 

Adam lay ybounden

3:13
  Calm and unhurried  
 

MATHEO FLECHA THE ELDER

(attrib.) (?1481-?1553)
14 

Riu, riu, chiu

2:37
  Huw Leslie baritone (verse 2)  
  Henry Neill baritone (verse 3)  
  Basil MacDonald bass (verse 4)  
  Geoffrey Clapham bass (verse 5)  
  Brisk and firm  
 

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH

15 

O little town of Bethlehem

3:42
  Arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) and Sir Thomas Armstrong (1898-1994) (descant in last verse)  
 John Challenger organ
 

TRADITIONAL GERMAN

16 

Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

2:54
  Arranged by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) (verse 1) and Donald Cashmore (b. 1926)  
  Sostenuto - Meno mosso - Più animato  
 

CHRISTOPHER ROBINSON

(b. 1936)
17 

Make we joy

2:09
  Lively  
 

FELIX MENDELSSOHN

(1809-1847)
18 

Hark! the herald angels sing

3:15
  Last verse arranged by Christopher Robinson  
 John Challenger organ
 

JOHN TAVENER

(b. 1944)
19 

The lamb

3:50
  For Simon's third birthday  
  With extreme tenderness, flexible, always guided by the words - Poco meno mosso - A tempo, moving forward - Poco meno mosso  
 

MICHAEL FINNISSY

(b. 1946)
premiere recording
20 

Telling

4:06
  Peter Hicks treble  
  Slowly, gently  
 

KENNETH LEIGHTON

(1929-1988)
21 

Coventry Carol

3:17
  Julius Foo treble  
  Andante (cullante) - Un poco più mosso, più liberamente - Più mosso, agitato - Tempo I  
 

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH

22 

On Christmas night

2:03
  (Sussex Carol)  
  Arranged by Sir Philip Ledger (b. 1937)  
  Brightly  
 John Challenger organ
 

FRANZ XAVER GRUBER

(1787-1863)
23 

Silent night

3:13
  Arranged by Sir Philip Ledger  
  Peacefully  
 

JOHN FRANCIS WADE

(1711/12-1786)
24 

O come, all you faithful

4:02
  Arranged by Sir David Willcocks  
 John Challenger organ


In the run-up to Advent and Christmas, the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge under Andrew Nethsingha presents a joyous celebration of music for the festive season. The disc includes original works by John Rutter, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Elizabeth Poston, and Kenneth Leighton. These are complemented by arrangements of popular songs, and a selection of congregational hymns, all displaying strong ties to the Advent and Christmas seasons. 

This album was recorded in the College Chapel in full surround-sound, which means that it not only sounds spectacular, but recreates to a spectacular degree the experience of listening to the Choir perform in the Chapel.
 
The Choir of St John’s College, established in the 1670s, is today one of the finest college choirs in the world, known and loved by millions for its recordings, broadcasts, and concert tours. 
 
It is also the only British choir to webcast services weekly throughout the year – www.sjcchoir.co.uk

“St John’s is sometimes overshadowed by its celebrated sister college, King’s, but do not discount this choir. Its musical standards are very high, and here the results are marvellous in SACD sound. .. Andrew Nethsingha’s musical leadership continues the high standard established by George Guest. The St John’s chapel is a spacious but more intimate setting than King’s and the sound there is clear and warm. Challenger makes excellent use of the organ, especially its reeds in the more dramatic moments. This is now one of the most favoured of my many Christmas choral recordings.”

Robert A Moore – American Record Guide – November/December 2012

 


             “Editor’s Choice’

"...This release stands out thanks to out thanks to the commitment to quality and high artistic values shown here by St John’s College Choir and Chandos.”  *****

 Andrew Stewart - Classic FM magazine – February 2012


Artistic Quality 10     Sound Quality 10

"The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge has perhaps the sweetest, most mellifluous boy treble sound of all the British cathedral choirs ... this new Christmas program ... is wholly satisfying not only in that regard, but also for its well-chosen repertoire... This is 74 minutes of heavenly Christmas music, performed and recorded in the pretty respectable earthly domain of St John’s College Chapel, expertly led by Andrew Nethsingha and accompanied by the frightfully young and formidably talented organist John Challenger."

David Vernier - Classics Today.com


“This is a warming disc, eloquently sung by the choir of St John’s...”

Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph – 9 December 2011
 


        Recording of the Month
"...The singing on this disc is very fine indeed. Solos are well taken and the choir as a group blends extremely well and sings with excellent tone and great clarity. Several of the pieces are accompanied by organ and the college’s Senior Organ Scholar, John Challenger, does a marvellous job. I relished especially his splendid contributions - very different from each other in character - to the Jackson and Mathias pieces.
 
It only remains to say that the Chandos sound is up to the label’s usual exalted standard - I listened to this hybrid SACD as a conventional CD. This most enjoyable disc will be a high quality Christmas present for a musical friend - or to give to yourself!"

John Quinn  - Musicweb-international.com - December 2011


"... They have established a reputation as one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world, and in this new recording On Christmas Night, have captured the essence of that celebration
of peace and hope. Fine support and keen registration by organist John Challenger, and strong musical insights and solid leadership by conductor Andrew Nethsingha, all combine to make this one of the best Christmas music CDs out this year."

Jean-Yves Duperron - Musidata.com - 28 November 2011


"...the finest ’cathedral’ Christmas disc of the year ... Blessed with a particularly homeogenous and secure line-up of trebles... John Challenger makes full use of the chapel organ ..."

- Gramophone- December 2011


                  Performance ****       Recording *****
“Chandos engineering ... casts a luminescent glow round these excellent performances by the choir of St John’s College, Cambridge ...”

 Terry Blain – BBC Music Magazine – Christmas 2011
 





*****
V Hansen

*****
G Wren