Aeolian Singers - The Nativity And Other Christmas Music By Peter Skellern

Published Monday 9th October 2006
Aeolian Singers - The Nativity And Other Christmas Music By Peter Skellern
Aeolian Singers - The Nativity And Other Christmas Music By Peter Skellern

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20503-11614
LABEL: Independent
RRP: £12.00

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

If, like me, you vividly remember Peter Skellern's Top 10 hit in 1972 "You're A Lady", you will approach this album with fascination. Skellern is the president of the Aeolian Singers, one of Hertfordshire's leading choirs whose choral repertoire takes in "music from Buxtehude to Bernstein". So what of 'The Nativity' which Skellern specially wrote for the choir and was given its world premier in 2003? It really gets going with the third piece, "Look At The Star", where a brass band (Skellern's speciality you will remember) bring a delightful counterpoint to the children's choir (Royal Masonic School For Girls) while "Ere Dad" written in core-blimey cockney vernacular is a clever telling of Joseph and Mary being given the stable by a reluctant inn keeper. Then "Magnificat" shows the choir in fine voice and though the work isn't quite up there with Handel it does convey the quiet wonder of Mary. The concluding piece of 'The Nativity', "Angels Sang" succeeds in conjuring up images of a massed choir of angels and again the mix of choir and the Chameleon Brass works well. To fill out the CD there's a selection of other Skellern Christmas songs with five of his carols and a piece "Waiting For The Word" he wrote for BBC's Songs Of Praise in 2001. Overall, a refreshing and inventive telling of the Christmas story with not a sleigh bell cliché in earshot.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. In The Beginning Was The World [Listen]
2. In A Street In Bethlehem [Listen]
3. Look At The Star [Listen]
4. 'Ere Dad! [Listen]
5. Magnificat [Listen]
6. When Mary Had Her Baby [Listen]
7. Lullay [Listen]
8. Angels Sang [Listen]
9. Lullaby [Listen]
10. Love Divine Is Coming [Listen]
11. So Said The Angel [Listen]
12. How Long The Night [Listen]
13. Waiting For The World [Listen]
14. Were You There- [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Reader Comments

Posted by Rainer N. in Germany @ 19:50 on Aug 26 2018

How can I get this record to Germany?!
I love his Music.

Posted by Mike Shenton in Halesowen, West Midlands @ 17:11 on Dec 7 2017

Profound! I'm going to ask to have it played at my funeral. Is their a CD in existance with Peter Skellern performing it solo on the piano??

Posted by Dan Coulston in Plymouth Devon @ 14:37 on Nov 2 2012

Further to my last posting, when I had this recording on video, I happened to take down the lyrics, so if it is any help, I could let you have them. The words of the song are so good, they go some way in making up for the actual performance by Peter Skellern.

Posted by Dan Coulston in Plymouth Devon England @ 12:30 on Oct 20 2012

Have you had a reply? I also remember the Songs of Praise programme, and actually had it recorded on video at the time, but it got over-written. Would love to see it again, or hear Peter Skellern singing it on a cd.

Posted by N. Platts in Tetbury Glos. @ 18:46 on Apr 22 2011

Many years ago I heard the original Songs of Praise program in which Peter Skellern sang Waitng for the Word song (in 2001, I thnk!). Can you please tell me where I might obtain a copy of Peter Skellens solo version of this very inspiring song. It has been a great source of comfort to me.



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