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Sing We Christmas

Chanticleer , Various Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.64 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
2. O magnum mysterium
3. In dulci iubilo
4. O virgo virginum
5. O Jesulein süss, o Jesulein mild
6. Hodie Christus natus est
7. Marabile mysterium
8. Verbum caro factum est: Y la Virgen le dezia
9. A un niño llorando
10. Here Is The Little Door
11. Noel canon
12. Quelle est cette odeur agréable
13. El Noi de la Mare
14. A Christmas Carol
15. A virgin unspotted
16. In the bleak mid-winter
17. Glory to the newborn King
18. Stille nacht - Douce nuit - Silent night

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Christmas is the season for whipping out those holiday-specific standard recordings. This splendid gift by Chanticleer should top the list, for one will never tire of this a cappella choir's interpretations. With selections spanning the last five centuries of Latin, German, English, Spanish, and French festive fare, this recording exemplifies the sacrifice of the ego to the higher form of choral sound. Jacob Handl's "Mirabile Mysterium" takes you on a trip into the chromatic wonderlands, where you temporarily lose tonal balance. Victoria's eerie and dissonant "O Magnum Mysterium" treats us to rich voices swelling out of one organic whole. The phenomenal blend and perfect intonation elevate this recording above others in its category. --Barbara Eisner Bayer

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Chanticleer's Christmas CDs Oct. 29 2002
Format:Audio CD
The 12 voices of Chanticleer (the only full-time professional choir in America) are justly famous for their exquisite tone and range, both vocally and stylistically. 12 men, but nothing is missing. The first two tracks, Es ist Ein Ros by Preatorius and the famous O Magnum Mysterium of Tomas Victoria are absolute gems -- as well as studies in perfection of choral tone and balance.
The repertoire here runs from the early Renaissance (Josquin's O Virgo Virginum) to the more well-known 18th and 19th centuries (including the purest performance of Stille Nacht available) thru the American colonies (Billings' A Virgin Unspotted) up to the 20th century. This latter time period includes a marvelous little gem, Noel Canon, and a surprisingly lyrical composition by Charles Ives. Jennings (the director of the group) has chosen the original Holst version of In the Bleak Mid-winter (as opposed to the Harold Darke setting, which has become more popular over the last several years). This performance of the Holst is simply impossible to improve upon.
Defintely one of my half-dozen picks for a desert-island Christmas CD. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Christmas Listening Nov. 14 2000
By 127
Format:Audio CD
I could quite likely make it through the Christmas season with only this CD. Chanticleer is an ensemble that sets the highest standards for itself, in terms both of performance and production, and lives up to them with every album. This album presents a variety of languages, cultures, and time periods (Renaissance to American Gospel) and Chanticleer switches seamlessly from style to style, often in the same piece.
The vocal sound and ensemble are unparalleled by any other group I've heard. Every line is clear and beautiful, from the bass up through the soaring countertenor voices. While there are occaisonally soloists, there really are no stars in this album - it is a performance by the entire group. The arrangements are also very creative, such as Silent Night with 3 verses, each in a different language, and In Dulci Jubilo with 4 verses, each by a different arranger.
The bottom line, however, is the music itself. It doesn't matter how many different styles will fit on one album if the end result is musically lacking. That is not a concern here - music is first and foremost, and this album rises well above a densely-packed field of Christmas records.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Classic June 28 2000
Format:Audio CD
The opening "Est ist ein Ros" with it subtle phrasing, balance, and restraint set the tone for the rest of this exquisite album. "Es Ist Ein Ros" is such a frequently heard choral classic that it has become trite; Chanticleer's nuanced performance makes it fresh and endearing every time I hear it.
"In the Bleak Mid-winter" has now become one of my favorite Christmas carols. And Chanticleer's rendition is the one that melts the winter from my heart better than any other.
Most of the pieces on the album are from the Renaissance and therefore are well-suited to an all-male ensemble. Chanticleer handily sculpts each piece into a figurine in a sort of aural nativity . Even though some of the selections are more joyful, there is a meditative, reverent mood to this recording that sets such a wonderful tone for the Christmas season. It is not Christmas until I have listened to this recording at least once.
So many Christmas albums are just fluff. This one is pure substance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The purest of the Holiday Season Dec 4 1999
Format:Audio CD
Christmas is our family's favorite season. Coming from a household of trained musicians and clasical music lovers, my personal standards for music are high. Go into any store and you find much of the same CD's- the old standards, with not much new being produced of good quality.
What a find when I discovered this CD! This is destined to be a classic. The choral representations are wonderfully performed and challenge the ear with beauty. This CD is absolutely the best choral work I have heard in recent memory and promises to get repeat plays in our house over the Christmas season.....and beyond.
Each male voice is superb, from countertenor to bass, and the blending of tones (not to mention the great intonation) is what you would expect to hear in Heaven! Bravo! A variety of known and not so familiar selections provides variety not found on other Christmas CD's. All are excellently performed.
This is an absolute "must have" if choral music is something you enjoy. I hope this group continues to perform and record other Christmas selections in the future.
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