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Bright Day Star (2009)

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Bright Day Star (2009)

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Christmas Traditional
1. Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French)
2. The Old Year Now Away Is Fled
Christmas Traditional
3. Christmas Day in da Mornin'
4. The Cherry Tree Carol
Nickolaus Hermann
5. Wir singen dir, Immanuel
Christmas Traditional
6. The Wren Song (Irish)
7. A Wassail tune (Chestnut)
William Sandys
8. Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
John Bull
9. Een Kindeken Is Ons Geboren for keyboard in G
John Stainer
10. The Bellman's Carol
Christmas Traditional
11. Jesus born in Bethn'y, Christmas jig
Michael Praetorius
12. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming), instrumental arrangements
Johann Michael Bach
13. In Dulci Jubilo, for organ
Christmas Traditional
14. Rorate coeli desuper
15. Drive the cold winter away
Thomas Ravenscroft
16. Remember, O thou man (from Melismata, 1611)
Michael Praetorius
17. Der Quempas (Quem pastores laudavere)
Christmas Traditional
18. Christmas is my name
Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi
19. In dir ist Freude
Christmas Traditional
20. Hey for Christmas!

The Baltimore Consort:
Chris Norman: wooden flute, 
Ronn Mcfarlane: lute, 
Mark Cudek: bandora, cittern, viol ,
Custer Larue: soprano, 
Larry Lipkis: viol, recorder, gemshorn, 
Mary Anne Ballard:rebec, viol, 
Webb Wiggins: organ


Had enough of animated snowmen and over-sweetened carol arrangements? Here's a hugely enjoyable recording of songs and dances done with flair by the Baltimore Consort. There are a few familiar tunes, such as the lilting arrangement of "Ding, Dong Merrily On High" and a beautiful solo flute version of "Lo, How a Rose 'Er Blooming." But most the songs are off the beaten track, and are therefore fresh and new despite their antiquity. Custer LaRue brings feeling and energy into the songs. This has become the most played Christmas CD in our household. --- Frederick Lauritzen, amazon.com


One of the finest Christmas recordings ever made, this 1994 production by the Baltimore Consort makes a welcome return (complete with a new cover) along with the revival of the Dorian label. Glowing with the high, clear soprano of Custer LaRue and brimming with versatile, virtuoso instrumental work by Mary Anne Ballard (viols, rebec), Mark Cudek (cittern, Baroque guitar, viols, bandora), Larry Lipkis (viol, recorder, gemshorn), Ronn McFarlane (lute), Chris Norman (wooden flutes, pennywhistle), and Webb Wiggins (organ), this program literally lives up to the promise of its title.

Many of these 20 tunes/carols/dances are among the most familiar Christmas standards--Ding dong merrily on high; Greensleeves; Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen; In dulci jubilo; The Cherry Tree Carol; Tomorrow shall be my dancing day--presented in both vocal/instrumental and strictly instrumental arrangements. But whatever the tune, and however it's presented, the result is invariably engaging, artful, classy, and infinitely repeatable, which means it's perfect for multiple repetitions, whether at Christmas or any other time of year. Chris Norman's flute improvisation on "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen" is a classic, and Custer LaRue's rendition of the beautiful "Rorate coeli desuper" is not to be missed. In fact, that last instruction applies to this entire disc. If you're a Christmas music fan (and who isn't?) and you don't already own this CD, you know what you have to do. --- David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

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Last Updated (Friday, 11 October 2013 17:31)


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