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CANBERRA LIVING RECORDS j

^CLASSICAL

B]f W; L HOFFMANN

EXCELLENT CAROLS

PROCESSION WITH CAROLS ON ADVENT SUN DAY — King's College Choir conducted by Philip Leger. HMV digital.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC FROM KING'S — King's College Choir conducted by Sir David

Willcocks. HMV Greensleeve.

DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH — The Douglas Law

rence Choristers and the Or

mond Singers conducted by Douglas Lawrence. Move re cording.

Here are three varied

selections of Christmas carols, familiar and less familiar, by a famour English choir and a

fine Australian group of choristers, the first two re corded in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, and the third in St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne.

So, not only is the singing ex

ccllent, but the sound has the authentic ambience for this Christmas music.

The 'Procession with Carols' is particularly interesting, as it is a new digital recording, made in the chapel last yar, and faithfully reproduces the unique service for Advent Sunday which was first introduced to King's by the then Dean, Eric Milner-White, in 1934, and has been followed cach year since. In his words, the purpose of the service "was not to celcbrate Christmas, but to expect it."

The recording includes the full scrvice, with the responses and lessons, as well as the procession of the choir from the west end of the chapel, to its entry into the choir, and then to the altar, and finally the Recessional.

The carols, too, are interesting, including the Appalachian folk carol i wonder as 1 wander', the

traditional English 'My dancing day', and 'King Jesus has a garden' which is based on a Japanese children's song. This new release can be recommended

for its unusual qualities as well as for the quality of the singing and recording.

'Christmas Music from King's' is a reissue of a disc originally released in 1967: it does not in clude any popular carols, but is a collection of seasonal music from the 16th century by Vic toria. Byrd and Gibbons, through to this century with examples from Lennox Berkeley, Imogen Hoist and Peter Warlock. It was

one of the most popular of the earlier King's College Choir re cordings, and makes a welcome return on the budget 'Green

sleeve' label.

The collection on the local

'Move' label is well summed up

on the album cover as "a baker's dozen of well-loved traditional

Christmas carols featuring child ren's and men's voiccs". In addi tion to the carol from which the album takes its name, there arc another seven or eight popular carols; but there are also some more recent and delightful carols including 'The blessed Son of God' by Vaugiian Williams and Benjamin Britten's 'A boy is

born'.

The singers arc accompanied by Roderick Junor on the organ of St Patrick's, and the recording catchcs faithfully the sound of choral music in that cathedral.

So there they are: there is variety, and whichever disc is chosen. I am sure it will give pleasure and brighten up your Christmas gatherings.

As the end of the year is now upon us, next week 1 will survey the recordings reviewed in these columns during the year, and sclect my 'Ten Best' for 1982.

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