Manor House String Quartet - I Saw Three Ships And Other Carols

Published Saturday 26th February 2011
Manor House String Quartet - I Saw Three Ships And Other Carols
Manor House String Quartet - I Saw Three Ships And Other Carols

STYLE: Ambient/Meditational
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 103181-17421
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan

The leader of the Manor House String Quartet, Vaughn Jones, set out with the arrangements here to "capture the spirit of these memorable melodies whilst unlocking their musical potential". I think he has succeeded on both fronts. It won't be to everyone's taste, but classical fans will have a field day listening to the distinctive arrangements (or "recreations" as Jones calls them), while the average listener can just enjoy the familiar melodies and the frequent musical surprises that these delightful string quartet arrangements bring to the material. Standout tracks for me are "Away In A Manger" and "In The Bleak Midwinter" - faithful to the originals but with a welcome freshness. The faster melodies have their own charm too with the sprightly "Deck The Halls" and "Ding Dong Merrily On High" both registering. 'I Saw Three Ships And Other Carols' would suit a quiet night in at Christmas in front of an open fire, or it would make great background music for a night with friends in - I'll bet their attention will stray regularly to the music. The sleeve even offers a concise but informative introduction to the history of each carol.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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