Czech & Moravian Carols

Review by: David Vernier

czechcarols

Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 8

Some potential listeners might wonder why they should be interested in an hour-plus program consisting of 20 mostly unfamiliar Czech and Moravian Christmas carols. Perhaps it would be for the first-rate choir, one of the world’s finest children’s ensembles, based in the city of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic. (And if you’ve ever heard any of the top children’s choirs from the Czech Republic, you’ll need no more encouragement on that front.) Or, perhaps it’s the many delightful tunes that have “Christmas carol” written all over them–you may not know them (except, perhaps for Nesem vám noviny/Glad Tidings), but they are unmistakably part of the tradition of European carols that we do know very well. It also could be the traditional instruments that accompany many of the songs that lend a distinctive color and character beyond text and tune. If any of this entices you, you’ll certainly enjoy the songs and performances on this pleasantly “different” Christmas program. Jan Jirásek is listed as “composer”, but he actually seems to be the “arranger” in these very easy on the ears settings for choir and instruments. The recording is generally very good, except for the weird spotlighting for a few of the vocal and instrumental solos; unfortunately, the producers chose not to list the names of the instrumentalists or vocal soloists.



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Recording Details:

Album Title: Czech & Moravian Christmas Carols

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