Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden - Christmas From Winchester

Published Tuesday 19th October 2010
Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden - Christmas From Winchester
Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden  - Christmas From Winchester

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Regent REGCD350

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This collection of seasonal favourites is what I would call a selection from the B-list. Allow me to explain. When it is my privilege to lead our Christmas celebration of the birth of our Lord I know that there are certain hymns that our once a year visitors will expect to sing so these go on my A-list. We cannot sing all of them so I have to choose. I expect a similar process goes on at many churches and on this CD we get some of those pieces that a congregation would not expect to sing but which may be featured in the choir's slot. The centrepiece here is undoubtedly Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony Of Carols", featuring Frances Kelly on the harp. Although billed as Winchester Cathedral Choir what we in fact have are three choirs in various combinations: the boy choristers, the girl choristers, and the lay clerks. The three come together only on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen " and "O Come All Ye Faithful", both in the arrangements by Sir David Willcocks and both sounding very splendid. All the other vocal pieces are sung either by the boys or the girls with the lay clerks so we always get a good, rounded sound. If I had to pick a favourite it would be "O Magnum Mysterium" by Morten Lauridsen but there is not a weak track in the entire 75 minutes. This is a mid-price issue and well worth seeking out.

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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