Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blogmass 2016 Day 12




















Here's one of those big box sets that Reader's Digest is known for, though this one is on the smaller side, as it includes only five discs. Never-the-less, here are three-plus hours of Yuletide cheer in the form of orchestras, choruses, organs, and small vocal ensembles.

Reader's Digest Family Album of Christmas Music - Together At Christmas

White Christmas (Wally Stott, His Orchestra, and Chorus)
Medley: Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Jingle Bells (James Walker, His Orchestra & Chorus)
Winter Wonderland (The John McCarthy Chorus, Reginald Dixon at Organ)
Deck the Halls (Peter Knight and His Orchestra)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (James Walker, His Orchestra and Chorus)
The Twelve Days of Christmas (Peter Knight, His Orchestra and Chorus)
Bless This House (The Jack Halloran Choir and Wayne Robinson's Orchestra)
O Christmas Tree (The John McCarthy Chorus)
Gather Around the Christmas Tree (Virgil Fox, Organ; The John McCarthy Chorus)
The Holly and the Ivy (The John McCarthy Chorus)
The Heart of Christmas (Roy Edwards, Baritone; Reginald Dixon, Organ)
May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You (The Don Hustad Chorale; NBC Orchestra of Chicago)
O Come All Ye Faithful (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Jean Allister, Contralto)
Away in a Manger (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Jean Allister, Contralto)
O Little Town of Bethlehem (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Jean Allister, Contralto)
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (John McCarhy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Jean Allister, Contralto)
What Child Is This (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Jean Allister, Contralto)
Joy to the World (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Jean Allister, Contralto)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Richard Lewis, Tenor)
Angels from the Realms of Glory (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Richard Lewis, Tenor)
O Holy Night (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Richard Lewis, Tenor)
The Little Drummer Boy (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Richard Lewis, Tenor)
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Richard Lewis, Tenor)
Angels We Have Heard on High (John McCarthy Chorus, Peter Knight and His Orchestra, Richard Lewis, Tenor)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas (The John McCarthy Chorus, Owen Brannigan, Bass)
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (The John McCarthy Chorus, Owen Brannigan, Bass)
The Coventry Carol (The John McCarthy Chorus, Owen Brannigan, Bass)
Good Christian Men Rejoice (The John McCarthy Chorus, Owen Brannigan, Bass)
I Saw Three Ships (The John McCarthy Chorus, Owen Brannigan, Bass)
Wassail Song (The John McCarthy Chorus, Owen Brannigan, Bass)
Silent Night (Virgil Fox, Organ; The John McCarthy Chorus)
The Birthday of a King (Jean Allister, Contralto; The John McCarthy Chorus)
Gesu Bambino (William Davies, Organ)
The Holy City (Jean Alilister, Contralto; William Davies, Organ; The John McCarthy Chorus)
Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod) (The Jack Halloran Choir and Wayne Robinson's Orchestra)
The Lord's Prayer (Dr. H. Vincent Mitzelfelt Chorale and Orchestra)
Sleigh Ride (Anderson)(Richard Benson and His Orchestra)
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers(Richard Benson and His Orchestra)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Richard Benson and His Orchestra)
The Sleigh Ride (Mozart)(Richard Benson and His Orchestra)
The Skater's Waltz (Richard Benson and His Orchestra)
And The Glory of the Lord Shall Be Revealed (The Royal Choral Society; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor)
And He Shall Purify (The Royal Choral Society; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor)
For Unto Us a Child Is Born (The Royal Choral Society; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor)
Glory to God in the Highest (The Royal Choral Society; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor)
Behold the Lamb of God (The Royal Choral Society; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor)
Hallelujah! (The Royal Choral Society; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor)
The First Noel (John McCallum, Wurlitzer Organ)
Good King Wenceslas (John McCallum, Wurlitzer Organ)
Once in Royal David's City (John McCallum, Wurlitzer Organ)
Christmas Is Coming (John McCallum, Wurlitzer Organ)
Ding Dong Merrily on High (John McCallum, Wurlitzer Organ)
Carol of the Bells (John McCallum, Wurlitzer Organ)
We Three Kings (Peter Knight and His Orchestra)
O Sanctissima (The Caroleers)
Silver Bells (Reginald Dixon, Organ)
O Come Little Children (The Caroleers)
Mary's Little Boy Chile (The Caroleers)
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (The Westminster Brass Ensemble with Organ)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Blogmass 2016 Day 11



















A glorious celebration of that traditional American holiday of. . .oh, wait, this is an album of German Christmas music (and a pretty good one it is).

From the jacket:

"The subtitle, "Christmas on the Rhine," indicates that these selections were produced and recorded in Germany, but the spirit they generate is universal.  Many of the carols, some of which are centruies old, have been internationally beloved for generations.  A few of them are identified with famous composers -- Praetorius' cherished "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" is equally popular in its English version, "Lo, how a rose e'er blooming, while "Schlafe mein Prinzchen, composed by the great Mozart, is so widely known that it is often called "Mozart's Lullaby."  Most of the melodies, however, are by less established composers, although they are no less appealing to listeners of all ages.  Simple and deeply sincere, these hymn-tunes have become part of the world's treasury of immortal folk-songs.  With two exceptions all the numbers, carrying the Yuletide message, are interpreted by a mixed chorus under the direction of the celebrated conductor, Werner Muller.  The Mozart "Lullaby" ("Wiegenlied) is rendered by The Eric Bender Children's Choir with a supporting String Quartet and Organ; "Transeamus" ("Gloria in Excelsis Deo") is an example of the fine musicianship of the Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio under the direction of Joseph Kugler.  Reverberating church bells add authenticity as well as beauty to these unusually sensitive and inspirational recordings."

 
Werner Muller Mixed Chorus and Orchestra - O Tannenbaum - Christmas On The Rhine
Decca Records. DL8388

O, Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)
Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night)
Kommet, Ihr Hirten (Come Ye Shepherds)
Susser Die Glocken Nie Klingen (Sweeter the Bells Have Never Rung)
Leise Rieselt der Schnee (The Snow Falls Quietly)
Wiegenlied (Schlafe, mein Prinzchen) (Sleep Little Prince)
Vom Himmel Hoch (From Heaven Above To Earth I Come)
O, Du Frohliche, O Du Selige (O Thou Cheerful One, O Thou Holy One)
Es Ist Ein ros' Entsprungen (Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming)
Am Wiehnachtsbaum (By The Christmas Tree)
Alle Jahre Wieder (Again Every Year)
Ihr Kinderlein Kommet (Come Hither, Ye Children)
Transeamus (Gloria In Excelsis Deo)
Kling Glockchen (Ring, Little Bell)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Blogmass 2016 Day 10














Well, if you like boy choirs, you'll like this, as The Wiener Sängerknaben is probably the most well-known of them.


Vienna Boys Choir - Sings German Christmas Carols

A1 O Tannenbaum (The Christmas Tree)
A2 Es Ist Ein Ros' Entsprungen Pratorius (A Rose Sprang Forth)
A3 Glocken Des Stiftis St. Floren (Bells Of St. Floren)
A4 O Du Frohliche, O Du Selige (Joyful Yuletide)
A5 O Jesulein Suss (Sweet Little Jesus)
A6 Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night)
B1 Ihr Kinderlein Kommet (Come Little Children)
B2 Es Wird Schon Glei Dumpa (Soon It Will Knock)
B3 Kommet Ihr Hirten (Come You Shepherds)
B4 Still, Still (Quiet, Quiet)
B5 Es Hat Sich Halt Eroffnet (It Became Wide Open)
B6 Addeste Fideles

Monday, December 21, 2015

Blogmass 2016 Day 09




















This 1955 album by The Three Suns is prime early lounge/bachelor pad music. Even though it is in mono, it's still a fabulous hi-fi listen (and that album cover is great mid-century art).

 
The Three Suns - The Sounds of Christmas
RCA Victor, LPM-1132, 1955

Adeste Fideles
The First Noel
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
O Holy Night
The Monastery Bells
Greensleeves
Winter Wonderland
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
White Christmas
Joy to the World
Jingle Bells
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
Carol of the Birds
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Silent Night
Der Tannenbaum
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Carol of the Bells
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Blogmass 2016 Day 08














The choir of the Church of St. Trinian with organ and orchestral accompaniment. Not the best recording and/or pressing, and being in mono doesn't help with the sonics. I can't determine a date, but I'd estimate early 1950s.

Here's what The back cover says about the Abbey Choir:

About fifty years ago, in the early 1900's the small Church of St. Trinian England formed a Choral Group which in the past half century has reached the heights of fame beyond even the fondest dreams of the original group. Composed of members and children of members, it possessed the quality of church music which is seldom achieved, but often attempted. They became so popular that requests for their performances came from all over the world. They responded willingly and as a result traveled far and wide, even performing on Radio and Television in AMerica.
Since they were formed over fifty years ago, some have passed on, others have been retired, but the quality of their beauty seems to have been retained. It is interesting to note that many of the children of the first group are carrying on in the places vacated by their parents which has helped perpetuate the engaging, youthful voices that give sensitiveness to their renditions.
The Abbey Choir sings your favorite Christmas melodies in this long-playing album, recorded in high fidelity for you to play and enjoy during the Yuletide season or whenever the mood posesses you.
Here indeed, is a collector's recording that will provide pleasurable listening for years to come.
 

The Abbey Choir - Christmas With The Abbey Choir

Promenade/Parade Records 2071


Silent Night
The Wassail Song
Christians Awake
Once in Royal David's City
As with Gladness Men of Old
Angels from the REalms of Glory
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
The 12 Days of Christmas
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Holly and the Ivy
Ave Maria

Blogmass 2015 Day 07












"There were basically three generations of the early music revivalists in the twentieth century. The first generation, beginning about 1920 or so, revived the music, but by and large didn't have the instruments to play it on apart from the recorder family, harpsichord, and some lutes; certain revivalists, such as Andrès Segovia, were even a little arrogant about playing old music on modern instruments, citing inherent limitations and perceived inferiority about them. The second generation, which emerged in the 1950s, finally had the instruments, but was unsure about how to be combined and how best to utilize them to fit the music, so that period is typified by a lot of arranging and adaptation of old music, not to mention borrowing from sometimes anachronistic folk sources. The third generation, which emerged in the 1980s, was informed by solid musicological scholarship, mastery of the instruments, and armed with a number of established strategies toward realizing old music, although they are limited to some extent by dogmatic concepts and a desire to correct what they feel are injustices to text and other excesses caused by the second generation.
St. George's Canzona, led by ex-Musica Reservata recorder player John Sothcott, solidly belonged to the second generation and emerged around 1970, late within its historic compass. The classic holiday album To Drive the Cold Winter Away was made in 1975 and embodies virtually everything third-generation auditors cannot stand about the second; everything is arranged, often with instruments not belonging to the same period playing together. The program is organized into five segments, each having a distinct theme such as "A Medieval Holiday," with a general grouping of pieces given the theme, but with a wide historical focus; sources from the fifteenth century rubbing shoulders with those of the twelfth. Be that as it may, To Drive the Cold Winter Away is irresistible and fun; it celebrates a world of chattering crumhorn choirs, palpitating and clanging percussion that some experts state didn't exist in Medieval Europe, a tambourine happy clattering away while a renaissance viol consort drones somewhere off in the distance. And it's all absolutely delightful, energetic, and will serve to make one's Christmas a good deal merrier than many commercially intended popular Christmas albums. A standout element is Rosemary Harrison's low-key, cheerful singing; moreover, some third-generation early music groups, such as La Reverdie and Dufay Collective, certainly gleaned a measure of inspiration from the sheer love of music-making and entertainment value of groups such as St. George's Canzona, so there is some forward relevance to this disc and its style. If there is any compromise at all to To Drive the Cold Winter Away, it is merely the LP-conceived dimensions of the program; as the extraordinary instrumental jam on "Here we come a-wassailing" fades out, one might think "would it have hurt us to have 20 or more seconds of that?"
If one is an early music purist, St. George's Canzona and To Drive the Cold Winter Away might seem sacrilegious, but to the rest, its effervescent joy and distinct personality may seem like manna from heaven" ~AllMusic Review by

 St George's Canzona - To Drive the Cold Winter Away
(A Fireside Presentation Of Music For Merrymaking Down The Ages)

CRD Records ‎– CRD 1019  1975



     Entry Of The Minstrels And Waits:
A1 - a     Branle De L'Official (1588)
A1 - b     Pavane - 'Good King Wenceslas' (1582)    
    Festivities In The Tavern:
A2 - a     The Dressed Ship
A2 - b     Staines Morris / Here We Come A-Wassailing (Trad. North Of England)
A2 - c     Green Garters
A2 - d     Fandango

    A Medieval Holiday:

A3 - a     Edi Beo Thu (English 12th Century)    
A3 - b     Salterello (Italian 14th Century)    
A3 - c     Alle (Psallite Cum) Luya (French 13th Century)    
A3 - d     Rosa Das Rosas (Galician 13th Century - Cantigas Of King Alphonso The Wise)    
A3 - e     Ductia (English 13th Century)    
A3 - f     As I Lay (English 15th Century)    
A3 - g     La Manfredina (Italian 14th Century)    
    Festivities At The Manor:
B1 - a     Fanfare
B1 - b     All Hail To The Days (To Drive The Cold Winter Away) - (Trad. Tune)
B1 - c     Captain Digorie Piper's Galliard
B1 - d     I Saw Three Ships (Trad.)    
B1 - e     Peasant Dances (Tanz Der Bauern Und Tanz Der Büaerinnen)
B1 - f     God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (Trad. London)    
    'To Entertain A King':
B2 - a     Fire Dance (Feuertanz)
B2 - b     Stepping Dance (Schreittanz)
B2 - c     Windmills (Die Windmühle)
B2 - d     Village Dance (Dorftanz)
B2 - e     King Of Denmark's Galliard
B2 - f     Sailor's Dance (Schiffertanz)
B2 - g     Fishermen's Dance (Tanz Der Fischer)
B2 - h     Festive March (Aufmarsch)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Blogmass 2015 Day 06




















Something newer than my usual postings, which you could probably guess from Exxon (instead of Esso) in the title. In fact, this isn't vinyl, but a cassette. New to me on this release is the Cramer medley and the Alabama song.


Sounds of the Holidays from Exxon
Capital Records, DPK 1-0859, 1988


Nat King Cole-The Christmas Song
Julie Andrews-Deck The Halls
The Beach Boys-Frosty The Snow Man
Anne Murray-Winter Wonderland
Floyd Cramer-Medley: Up On The Housetop, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus 
Alabama-Santa Claus (I Still Believe In You)
Living Strings and Living Voices-Medley: Ring Christmas Bells,We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Arthur Fiedler-Medley: Here We Come A-Caroling, O Christmas Tree, I Saw Three Ships 
Ronnie Milsap-Silver Bells
Brenda Lee-Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree 
Jose Feliciano-Feliz Navidad
Judy Collins-Merry Christmas Wherever You Are
Henry Mancini-Medley: What Are You Doing New Year's Eve/Auld Lang Syne.