Christmas from Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum of Dean Close Preparatory School
directed by Simon Bell, Carleton Etherington Organ
'Tewkesbury Abbey is more than fortunate to have such an excellent choir as this — as it in turn is to have such an excellent musician as Bell as its director. A fine recording of uncommon musical interest.' International Record Review December 14
'Among the crop of Christmas discs that have made their way to the C&O offices since our 2014 round-up. some deserve especial mention. The unforced yet muscular sound of the men and boys' Schola Cantorum of Tewkesbury Abbey features on Christmas from Tewkesbury (Regent REGCD 440), where traditional carols weave around more recent additions (Chilcott. Moore. Joseph Cullen. Paul Edwards) plus two fine movements of organ music by David Bedard, all delivered with poise.’
Choir & Organ November/December 2015
'This is thoroughly recommended, especially for those looking for some new Christmas choral repertoire.' Sydney Organ Journal Summer 14
'Those of you who believe that one or two Christmas CDs are enough, should know that this new recording fully justifies adding one more to your collection.'
Jean-Yves Duperron - December 2014 Classical Music Sentinel
This collection of festive music is a selection from the repertoire that the choristers and lay clerks of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum can be heard singing during the run up to Christmas each year. Some of the pieces are new recordings of well-known favourites, whilst others will be less familiar.
The Schola Cantorum’s raison d’etre is to sing Evensong during the week throughout school term time. This tradition at Tewkesbury was revived forty years ago in 1974 when the Choir of the Abbey School sang its first service of Choral Evensong. Since the Abbey School closed in 2006, the choristers have been educated at Dean Close Preparatory School in Cheltenham. Ever since the sixteen boy choristers and the lay clerks have continued their daily offering of worship in the peaceful surroundings of the Abbey. In recent years the Scholas Cantorum has appeared on a number of highly-regarded recordings.
Each year, Dean Close School commissions a Christmas Carol for Schola Cantorum and the Chapel Choir at the senior school. On this recording, three of these works are presented. Bob Chilcott’s atmospheric setting of The night he was born, was commissioned back in 2006, and is a setting of words by Helen Dunmore. Philip Moore’s reserved Into a quiet world was written in 2012, and Thomas Hewitt Jones’ jaunty setting of original words by Paul Williamson, Verbum caro factum est, was completed for 2013’s Christmas services. These last two pieces are recorded here for the first time.
Simon Bell was appointed as Director of the Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum in 2012. He was previously at Winchester Cathedral where he held the position of Assistant Director of Music.
Adam lay ybounden Philip Ledger 2:18
Nova! nova! Bob Chilcott 2:46
A babe is born William Mathias 3:38
The night he was born Bob Chilcott* 5:58
O little town of Bethlehem English trad, arr Ralph Vaughan Williams and Thomas Armstrong 3:20
Into a quiet world Philip Moore* 6:27
Ding dong! merrily on high 16th c. French, arr Mack Wilberg 2:35
Away in a manger William Kirkpatrick, arr David Hill 2:40
Noël huron from Deux Noëls Denis Bédard 3:23
Benedicamus Domino Peter Warlock 1:29
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day John Gardner 2:27
Bethlehem Down Peter Warlock 4:07
No small wonder Paul Edwards 2:38
O come, all ye faithful J Wade, arr David Willcocks 3:45
I saw three ships English trad, arr Richard Lloyd 2:22
In excelsis Gloria Joseph Cullen 3:04
This is the truth sent from above English trad, arr Philip Moore 2:47
Candlelight Carol John Rutter 4:05
Verbum caro factum est Thomas Hewitt Jones* 3:00
Hark! the herald-angels sing Felix Mendelssohn, arr David Willcocks 2:56
Toccata sur Il est né le divin enfant from Deux Noëls Denis Bédard 3:34
Total Playing time: 69:27
* Commissioned by Dean Close School