Christmas carols and holiday choral music, sung by the best English Cathedral and Chapel Choirs, make grand gifts for music lovers and are great for updating your own seasonal music collection. Travelers who have been to (or are heading for) England's historic cathedrals
will also appreciate these gifts of Christmas music from England's Top Cathedral Choirs.
Everyone's all time favorite Christmas Carols are included in this London/Decca collection sung by one of England's greatest choirs. The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Davis, accompanies and the choir's wonderful boy sopranos give the sound a particular brilliance. As a gift or as a favorite part of your own holiday music collection, this one is a winner.
This is a (mostly) live recording of a famous Christmas Eve service at King's College Chapel, Cambridge. The BBC has been broadcasting the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
for more than 80 years and people all over the world have listened to it on the BBC World Service.
The music includes lots of familiar and favorite carols as well interesting harmonic arrangements by Ralph Vaughan Williams and contemporary works by Thomas Adès, Judith Weir, and John Tavener.
The two-CD album also includes the entire service with 11 spoken sections - the lessons movingly read by members of the congregation and even the sermon. This may put some people off but it is bound to be popular with the Anglophiles on your holiday list.
Stephen Darlington conducts the Christ Church Cathedral Choir in a performance of 15 selections from 20th century English composers Gustav Holst and William Walton, recorded at Merton College Chapel, Oxford. The acoustics of the medieval chapel, the modern harmonies and the traditional blend of the voices give this recording a lovely, timeless quality.
This is a good, solid collection featuring Andrea Bocelli and Charlotte Church. It includes familiar and lesser known Christmas
works performed by the Westminster Abbey choir, one of England's finest, with star soloists. This event features Greta Scacchi and Dame Joan Plowright as well, supported by the Westminster Abbey choir and the City of London Sinfonia. Filmed on location at Westminster Abbey in London.
Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire was begun in the reign of William the conqueror. Considered, by many, to be one of England's most beautiful cathedrals it has a soaring, narrow nave which the Ely Cathedral Choir fills with a very special, soaring sound. Here, the ensemble has recording sixteen, mostly traditional, carols while introducing a few, less familiar works.
Anthony Crossland conducts the Wells Cathedral Choir and Richard Seal leads the Salisbury Cathedral Choir in 18 selections that compliment each other in their contrasting styles. The Wells choir performs (mostly) traditional English carols, many of which may be unfamiliar to American listeners - Once in Royal David's City, The Holly and the Ivy, The Coventry Carol. The choir's boy soprano choristers are almost ethereal. The Salisbury Choir performs mostly 20th century Christmas music arranged with subtle complexity. The choir's performance of the American carol, I Wonder as I Wander, is haunting.
It takes a magnificent choir to fill Northern Europe's largest gothic cathedral with such beautiful sound. Francis Jackson conducts the Choir of York Minster and the Minster Organ in a collection of 21 familiar favorites that are so well done you'll want to head for York to hear the Minster choir sing yourself.
A mixture of 21 old and new carols performed by the choir of Norwich's Norman Cathedral. Composers include Peter Warlock and John Tavener along with a clutch classics. The blend of this choir and the choral arrangements have a distinctly Gregorian sound, even in the more modern works.
The Choir of London's Magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral perform a dozen all time favorite and familiar English carols.