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Classical - Released September 1, 1979 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released July 31, 1995 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Recitals - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released June 12, 2012 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1978 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 4, 1986 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 4, 1986 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released July 31, 1995 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released November 30, 2018 | Menuetto Classics

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Classical - Released July 3, 2007 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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Classical - Released January 27, 2017 | Editions Audiovisuel Beulah

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Opera - Released September 4, 2001 | Opera d'Oro

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Christmas Music - Released June 1, 2015 | Classy Catalogue Recordings

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Christmas Music - Released June 5, 2015 | Classy Catalogue Recordings

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Christmas Music - Released October 9, 2007 | Vanguard

The recordings of pioneer countertenor Alfred Deller, really the first "star" of early music, have held up well even as fashions in countertenor singing have changed. This two-disc set of Christmas music is not exactly forthright about the fact that the recordings were made in 1956 and 1960 (the information is way in the back of booklet, not on the cover). There is some tape hiss, but it generally does not distract from the classic performances contained therein. Solo performances by the graceful if underpowered Deller, accompanied by guitar or recorder and guitar, alternate with unaccompanied performances by the vocal quartet from the Deller Consort; in these Deller generally does not take the lead part. The overall aim of these performances, in the words of booklet writer Rossell Hope Robbins, "is not merely to invest the songs with beauty, but to recreate a sense of history. The two discs actually contain three separate programs, perhaps originally issued individually. The first part of the first disc "comprises the carols most beloved in England and the United States today," while the second part "gives a picture of Christmas as celebrated in song in England from medieval times through the age of the Stuarts, including the earliest known as carols. Some of these qualify as beloved as well; The Holly and the Ivy is among this second group. Disc 2 mixes these two ideas, blending favorite songs with quite obscure and striking ones. Hear Down in Yon Forest (CD 2, track 6), an English folk song with imagery worthy of Wes Craven: six verses focus in turn on a hall in the forest, containing a bed, at the foot of which is a stone on which the Virgin knelt, and "Under that bed there runs a flood/The one half runs water, the other runs blood." The listener will come away both musically pleased and knowing a bit more of where traditional songs came from: the set focuses on the roles of mystery plays, folk songs, and the cultivated or classical tradition, and it points to the thoroughly international quality of the Christmas repertory -- a good tune easily crossed borders and was fitted with English words, often by unsung poets. The carol, however, was typically English, and remains (along with professional wrestling) one of the relics of medieval times that continue to shape contemporary culture. This set should be a cornerstone of any library of Christmas recordings, and it will give good ideas to any group that comes together for the purposes of singing carols. © TiVo