Choir of the Queen's College, Oxford

A Ceremony of Carols

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212062722
Catnr: SIGCD 627
Release date: 16 October 2020
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Signum Classics
Catalogue number
Release date
16 October 2020

About the album

A glorious collection of Christmas music spanning over 900 years, centered around Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols – a work seen as both a signal of Britten’s turn back towards English musical and cultural traditions and as a distinctly modern composition.

Owen Rees and the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford present this alongside works that alternate between the early 17th century – by that most prolific composer and arranger of Lutheran Christmas music, Michael Praetorius – and the present: music by Judith Weir (1984), David Blackwell (2011), Jonathan Dove (2000), Dobrinka Tabakova (2018), Toby Young (2017), and Cecilia McDowall (2007). At one point the pattern is paused to look back half a millennium further than Praetorius, with Hildegard of Bingen’s O virga ac diadema.


The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK.

Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of music from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to contemporary works, including commissions. During the academic year the Choir provides the music for regular services in the splendid Baroque Chapel of The Queen’s College and its extensive concert schedule involves appearances in many parts of the UK and abroad, including work with various professional orchestras such as the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Brook Street Band, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, and Instruments of Time and Truth. The Choir broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio, while tours in recent years have included China, the USA, Sri Lanka, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Summer 2019 sees the Choir’s first visit to South America.

The Choir's latest CD recording was released in February 2019, and features the Missa Gloria tibi trinitas and other works by the sixteenth-century composer John Taverner. It met with universal acclaim as critics praised the grandeur of the full ensemble and the wonderful wall of sound. Equally glowing reviews met The House of the Mind in 2018, a disc celebrating the music of Herbert Howells, setting his works alongside pieces he inspired and influenced, including works by Nico Muhly and David Bednall. Reviewers commented on both the excellent performance and the intriguing choice of repertoire. Queen's Choir has also recorded for film at the famous Abbey Road Studios, and appears on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of the Warner-Brothers film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was released in July 2009.



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