Truro Cathedral Choir, Robert Sharpe - Christmas From Truro

Published Sunday 26th October 2008
Truro Cathedral Choir, Robert Sharpe - Christmas From Truro
Truro Cathedral Choir, Robert Sharpe - Christmas From Truro

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Regent REGCD281

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Of course Truro, pleasant city though it is, can never replace Bethlehem in the Christmas story but perhaps it has made its own significant contribution to the traditional British Christmas. Two quite interesting facts explain why: the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols made famous at King's College in Cambridge originated in Truro and that doyen of arrangers, Sir David Willcocks, is a Cornishman. We get far more than nine carols on this CD: 21 in total, with Sir David arranging six of them plus John Rutter's "Sans Day Carol", itself a Cornish song. Since 2003 a newly-written piece has been performed at Truro each Christmas, following the modern tradition at King's College, thus ensuring that this famous occasion is part of a living tradition of church music and not a museum piece so here we get first recordings of Gabriel Jackson's "Nowell Sing We" and Howard Skempton's "Rejoice, Rejoice". Choir masters and worship leaders looking for something new will be interested in hearing both of these pieces as well as some of the imaginative new settings of the old favourites such as Regent producer Gary Cole's blues-inspired arrangement of "Away In A Manger". The choir of Truro Cathedral is an all-male ensemble and listeners who enjoy a traditional Anglican Christmas service will enjoy this release. Those who follow cathedral music more closely will be interested to know that 2007 was director Robert Sharpe's last Christmas in Cornwall as he has now moved on to become Master Of The Music at York Minster. This recording shows how much he has achieved in Truro.

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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