Review by: David Vernier
Artistic Quality: 9
Sound Quality: 9
As this excellent disc’s subtitle states, the program features “new arrangements for recorder and choir” of European Christmas carols and songs. The recorder soloist is the renowned virtuoso Michala Petri; the choir is the award-winning Danish National Vocal Ensemble; the arranger of the 17 pieces that make up the program is Danish conductor Michael Bojesen. All of which adds up to one of the more memorable, repeatable, and musically satisfying Christmas-themed discs you’ll encounter this–or any other–season.
Not surprisingly, Petri’s recorder playing (actually she employs a few different instruments) is impressive, more than merely keeping up with the several–sometimes virtuosic–solos she’s given, which are of course tailored to her special talent. And the choir: well, it’s one of the world’s best, and these singers are in full command of Bojesen’s arrangements, which may all be of (mostly) familiar Christmas songs and carols, but, as mentioned, the settings are “new”, and they are uniformly well-crafted and ideally suited to their purpose and to the performers. (Happily for interested choirs and choir directors, published editions of the music are available online.)
This is a collection ideal for listeners who love the familiar repertoire such as Gabriel’s Message; Coventry Carol; Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; Rocking; It Came Upon the Midnight Clear; Angelus ad Virginem; Blessed Be That Maid Mary; and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and don’t want it messed with too much yet will be happy to hear it in a new light. You won’t be disappointed–and the recorder proves a delightful complement and enhancement to the choral singing. Highly recommended.
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Recording Details:Album Title: Let The Angels Sing
European Christmas Carols and Songs In New Arrangements for Recorder and Choir
- Michala Petri (recorder)
Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Michael Bojesen
- OUR Recordings - 6.220615