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Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, December 2016

Comparing the two children’s choirs—the New London and the Finchley Music Group is equally fascinating and rewarding, both are wonderfully vivacious and energetic although making quite a different sound. Going abroad, the Swedish Örebro Kammerchor contribute the Spanish Esta Bella Noche with an attractive guitar and percussion accompaniment. I loved the predictably fine Lutoslawski/Antoni Wit Polish National RSO & Choir Hurrying to Bethlehem. Again quite a different choral tone. Otto Kotilainen’s Finnish Kun Joulu on is something of a discovery beautifully performed—a lighter tone than the Polish choir but very expressive by the Finnish choir Chorus Resonus. Another virtuoso vocal group prove to be La Petite Bande de Montreal who contribute a brief but virtuosic Carol of the Bells. Jeremy Summerly’s Oxford Camerata are suitably vigorous in the Medieval Gaudete Christus est natus. As indeed is For Unto us from the Messiah from Edward Higginbottom, the Academy of Ancient Music and Oxford New College Choir. This is a delightfully sprung and sprightly version of an old favourite. Most of the carols are sung with little or no accompaniment other than the expected organ or keyboard. This makes the full orchestral version of Vaughan Williams’ Wassail Song particularly enjoyable.

So all in all a disc of palpable hits in terms of music and performance… © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Mel Martin
Audiophile Audition, December 2016

Eight Christmas CDs for the 2016 Holidays

The idea of this CD is to be a springboard for a lifelong journey thru the world of classical music. Every selection of the many here is carefully tailored to the younger listeners and you will find familiar tracks as well as unexpected gems. There is booklet with the CD full of information on each piece of music. The selection is both unique and imaginative, and should open a door to a wonderful world that children and their parents can discover together. © 2016 Audiophile Audition



JMC
The Chronicle, November 2016

If you’re looking for a Christmas album that the kids will like but won’t drive you up the wall, try this.

It opens with a lovely Once in Royal David’s City but after that goes off piste, taking in everything from Winter Wonderland, played by the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and its principal harmonica, to Gaudete and Away In A Manger.

Most of your favourite Christmas carols are on here, along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

For a Christmas album, it gets high praise: it’s not annoying, and only Scrooge could really find fault. It also introduces the small ones to classical playing. © 2016 The Chronicle



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

Thirty various tracks from the traditional carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, to Hollywood’s view of the festive season with ‘Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer’. Today the religious festival has been turned into a commercial world of presents and feasting. So it is good that Naxos have turned the clock back when thoughts were all about the birth of a special child, and here told in the terms of a story book for children. Though spiced with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet and Winter Wonderland, this is a very ‘serious’ release, the various tracks taken from choral discs issued on the Naxos label. It makes for a most welcome disc, the quality of the performances—using the English language—being of the highest order, and featuring some of the UK’s finest ensembles, the volume level of each track perfectly set so that we get a seamless experience. The release is accompanied by a colourful booklet designed for young children. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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