The Scottish Festival Singers - The Cathedral Christmas Album
STYLE: Choral RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 145306-21473 LABEL: Elevation ELE1990D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2013-11-18 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
Warning: although titled as 'The Cathedral Christmas Album' the choir is The Scottish Festival Singers and the venue is Old St Luke's Church, Edinburgh so neither can be described as from, of or in a Cathedral. That is not to say that The Scottish Festival Singers cannot sing - they do so very well and we congratulate conductor Ian McCorie and organist John P Kitchen as well as the un-named and unpictured members of the choir. The repertoire is safe to the point of predictability and with only 16 songs there are more than a few standards that have been omitted, such as "Once In Royal David's City". (Isn't it against the law not to start a Cathedral carol service without "Once In Royal"?) However, it is certainly possible to tell the nativity story using these 16 songs from "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" to "Christians Awake" and there are far more hits than misses. However there is nothing here that makes the album stand out in the very crowded Christmas marketplace. There is no sense of place or history that we find from a specific cathedral choir and while all the arrangements are safe there is nothing that grabs the attention and makes us listen to the old song telling the old story in a fresh way. The positives are the traditional content sung in the traditional way and sold at a very reasonable price but unless this is your first Christmas CD you will have at least some of the content already.
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When you think of Christmas, then the sound of carols is never far away. This album provides your favourite Christmas Carols sung by The Scottish Festival Singers recorded in Edinburgh to provide the perfect sound of Christmas.