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The Gift of Music | CDs | Music for Christmas | Carols for a Victorian Christmas
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Victorian CarolsChristmas Songs and Music from Victorian EnglandThe Victorians almost re-invented Christmas trees and carol singing after decades of neglect of our major festival. This recording assembles a variety of Victorian Christmas music from the sounds of street musicians to drawing room songs, from Polyphons and organs to bells and church choirs.1 Church Bells2 God rest you, merry gentlemenThe choir of Magdalen College, Oxford3 Twas in the winter coldThe choir of Magdalen College, Oxford4 Cantique de Noël - Adam Martin Souter5 The Mistletoe Bow Polyphon 19 5/8" disc player, Leipzig 18986 O little town of Bethlehem Fine Arts Brass7 What shall we sing at Christmas? Lesley Echo Ross, Jozik Koc, Martin Souter8 Hark the herald angels sing Regina disc player 15 ½", USA early 20th century9 The Song of the Robin Redbreast Lesley Echo Ross, Martin Souter10 In dulci jubilo - F Liszt Martin Souter11 We three Kings of Orient are The choir of Magdalen College, Oxford12 See amid the winter's snow The choir of Magdalen College, Oxford13 Sleep, Holy babe The choir of Magdalen College, Oxford14 Es ist ein Ros - J Brahms Martin Souter15 Good King Wenceslas Regina 15 ½" disc player, USA, early 20th century16 Jesu, joy of man's desiring - JS Bach Fine arts Brass Ensemble17 The Wassail Song The choir of Magdalen College, Oxford18 Landlord fill the flowing bowl Fine Arts Brass19 Good Christian men rejoiceThe choir of Magdalen College, Oxford 20 O come all ye faithful Polyphon 14 ½" disc player with 12 bells, Leipzig 190121 Hallelujah - GF HandelHarrogate Choral Society22 In dulci jubilo - JS Bach Martin Souter23 Auld Lang Syne Player piano24 Church BellsThis compilation p and c 1998 Classical CommunicationsCover picture: A Merry-Go-Round on the Ice, 1888 (watercolour) by Robert Barnes (1840-1895) Mallet Gallery/Bridgeman Art LibraryMechanical instruments courtesy of Keith Harding's Museum of Mechanical Music, Northleach, Glos.Victorian CarolsChristmas Songs and Music from Victorian EnglandThe Victorians almost re-invented Christmas trees and carol singing after decades of neglect of our major festival. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert led the changing style of Christmas as it became a real family occasion for the first time, with presents around the tree and carol singing in the home and on the street. This recording assembles a variety of Victorian Christmas music from the sounds of street musicians to drawing room songs, from mechanical instruments and organs to bells and church choirs.This varied selection of music reflects both the pious and robust sides to the Victorian musical style. Vigorous carols such as God rest you merry gentlemen (track 1) mix with gentle ones such as Sleep, holy babe (track 13) and the beautiful and famous See amid the winter's snow (track 12). Adam's powerful Cantique de Noël (Song of Christmas - track 4) contrasts with Liszt's quiet arrangement of In Dulci Jubilo (track 10).The music of Bach and Handel was a feature of Victorian music making in the choral societies of towns and cities throughout the land and can be heard here in Jesu, Joy (track 16), In dulci jubilo (track 22) and in an all-time favourite Christmas piece, the Hallelujah Chorus (track 21).The atmosphere of the Victorian Christmas drawing room is recreated here in sentimental songs from around the piano. What shall we sing at Christmas? (track 7) draws together several seasonal songs while the Song of the Robin Redbreast (track 9) may have brought a tear to the Victorian sentimental eye! Music boxes (including the famous Leipzig-made Polyphons) could be heard in the home or in the public bar, to which the carol singers (singing the Wassail Song - track 17) and slightly tipsy musicians might repair after a night of music-making and revelry around the town. In Landlord fill the Flowing Bowl (track 18) the musicians make it sound as though the landlord might have a few problems serving drinks accurately himself!
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