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Paul Hillier - The Christmas Story

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The Christmas Story

Theatre of Voices, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Paul Hillier

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This anthology of Christmas carols from the European tradition is not as banal a collection as it may seem. Paul Hillier's intention here is to place himself in the context of history and musicology, his work being similar to that of Arthur Honegger, who at the end of his life composed A Christmas Cantata, which was based on various traditional songs, motets and folk songs.
Paul Hillier's work is, as always, of a high standard. Four singers per party in the old English tradition of "Nine Lessons and Carols" which had its first outing on Christmas Eve 1880 in Cornwall. Two ensembles share a selection of texts and melodies which have been arranged for this recording: Theatre of Voices with a discreet accompaniment of theorbo, guitar and organ, and Ars Nova Copenhagen, an a cappella choir with an exceptional quality of style and intonation.
The dialogues come from the Italian repertoire of the seventeenth century from which the oratorio would arise. The music comes from the English, German and Italian popular traditions to which Paul Hillier has added some later pieces by Hopkins, Gade and Skempton. This unique story of the Nativity exudes a seductively interior atmosphere and wonder. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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The Christmas Story

Paul Hillier

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Rorate coeli desuper (Anonymous)

1
[ADVENT] Rorate coeli desuper (Plainchant)
00:02:31

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Primary - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Anonymous, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Veni, veni Emanuel (Traditional)

2
[ADVENT] Veni, veni Emanuel
00:03:19

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Primary - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Traditional)

3
[ADVENT] Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
00:03:25

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Primary - Traditional, Composer - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Dum deambularet Dominus in Paradisum (Biasio Tomasi)

4
[ADVENT] Dum deambularet Dominus in Paradisum
00:04:53

Theatre of Voices - Ars Nova Copenhagen - Fredrik Bock, Theorbo & guitar - Bine Bryndorf, Organ - Biasio Tomasi, Composer - Paul Hillier, Conductor

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Adam lay y-bounden (Howard Skempton)

5
[ADVENT] Adam lay y-bounden
00:01:35

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Howard Skempton, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

In dulci iubilo (Traditional)

6
[ADVENT] In dulci iubilo
00:03:20

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by R.L. Pearsall

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Missus est Gabriel (Alessandro Grandi)

7
[ANNUNCIATION] Missus est Gabriel
00:07:27

Theatre of Voices - Ars Nova Copenhagen - Fredrik Bock, Theorbo & guitar - Bine Bryndorf, Organ - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Alessandro Grandi, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Puer natus est (Anonymous)

8
[NATIVITY] Puer natus est (Plainchant)
00:03:03

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Fredrik Bock, Theorbo & guitar - Bine Bryndorf, Organ - Anonymous, Composer - Paul Hillier, Conductor

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

O magnum mysterium (William Byrd)

9
[NATIVITY] O magnum mysterium
00:03:05

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - William Byrd, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Voi ch'ai notturni rai (Giovanni Francesco Anerio)

10
[NATIVITY] Voi ch'ai notturni rai
00:06:10

Theatre of Voices - Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Giovanni Francesco Anerio, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Dormi, dormi, O bel bambin (Traditional)

11
[NATIVITY] Dormi, dormi, O bel bambin
00:02:01

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Liebe Hirten (Traditional)

12
[NATIVITY] Liebe Hirten
00:01:35

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Andachtsjodler (Traditional)

13
[NATIVITY] Andachtsjodler
00:02:25

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Primary - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

We Three Kings (John Henry Hopkins)

14
[EPIPHANY] We Three Kings
00:03:54

Theatre of Voices - Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - John Henry Hopkins, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Videntes stellam (Anonymous)

15
[EPIPHANY] Videntes stellam (Plainchant)
00:00:33

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Fredrik Bock, Primary - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Anonymous, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Personent hodie (Traditional)

16
[EPIPHANY] Personent hodie
00:01:51

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Herodes iratus (Anonymous)

17
[THE HOLY INNOCENTS] Herodes iratus (Plainchant)
00:00:36

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Anonymous, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Vox in Rama (Anonymous)

18
[THE HOLY INNOCENTS] Vox in Rama (Plainchant)
00:01:11

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Anonymous, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Uebers Gebirg (Johann Eccard)

19
[EPILOGUE] Uebers Gebirg
00:02:47

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Johann Eccard, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Maria wallt zum Heiligtum (Johann Eccard)

20
[EPILOGUE] Maria wallt zum Heiligtum
00:03:11

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Johann Eccard, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

The Holly and the Ivy (Traditional)

21
[EPILOGUE] The Holly and the Ivy
00:02:47

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Barn Jesus i en krybbe la (Niels Gade)

22
[EPILOGUE] Barn Jesus i en krybbe la
00:01:56

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Niels Gade, Composer

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

We wish you a merry Christmas (Traditional)

23
[EPILOGUE] We wish you a merry Christmas
00:01:33

Ars Nova Copenhagen - Paul Hillier, Conductor - Traditional, Composer - Arranged by Paul Hillier

© 2011 harmonia mundi usa ℗ 2011 harmonia mundi usa

Album Description

This anthology of Christmas carols from the European tradition is not as banal a collection as it may seem. Paul Hillier's intention here is to place himself in the context of history and musicology, his work being similar to that of Arthur Honegger, who at the end of his life composed A Christmas Cantata, which was based on various traditional songs, motets and folk songs.
Paul Hillier's work is, as always, of a high standard. Four singers per party in the old English tradition of "Nine Lessons and Carols" which had its first outing on Christmas Eve 1880 in Cornwall. Two ensembles share a selection of texts and melodies which have been arranged for this recording: Theatre of Voices with a discreet accompaniment of theorbo, guitar and organ, and Ars Nova Copenhagen, an a cappella choir with an exceptional quality of style and intonation.
The dialogues come from the Italian repertoire of the seventeenth century from which the oratorio would arise. The music comes from the English, German and Italian popular traditions to which Paul Hillier has added some later pieces by Hopkins, Gade and Skempton. This unique story of the Nativity exudes a seductively interior atmosphere and wonder. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Details of original recording : Recorded in January, 2011 at Garnisons Kirk, Copenhagen, Denmark

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