Five centuries, seven languages, and six singers with 35 years of remarkable experience inform this rare collection of choral music. In the world-renowned King's Singers resplendent voices, ancient and modern choral music comes to life with all the blazing immediacy and timeliness of the gospel of the nativity. With 25 pieces of music–ranging from familiar works such as "Coventry Carol" to the obscure Tchaikovsky piece "The Crown of Roses"–the King's Singers move through this hallowed and festive set with the vocal mastery that only three-and-a-half decades of accomplished work together is capable of creating. A number of contemporary carols written in the last century by composers such as John McCabe, Philip Lawson, John Rutter, and others are balanced by pieces by Bach and a host of traditional works. Lawson's "You Are the New Day," performed with a string quartet, stands out as one of the more notable performances. Like most of their music throughout Christmas, it reminds listeners that the art of music often interprets divine aspects gladly realized here on Earth.
Synopsis: A solo chorister singing Once In Royal David's City begins this traditional celebration of Christmas from the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. The story of the Nativity is told in the familiar words of the King James Bible together with Christmas poems by Kevin Crossley-Holland, WH Auden and Charles Causley. The famous Chapel choir, conducted by Stephen Cleobury, sings carols old and new, including such favourites as The Sussex Carol, In Dulci Jubilo, Ding Dong Merrily On High, The First Nowell, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing By, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, Bethlehem Down and O Come, All Ye Faithful. – BBC
For those needing a reminder of Cole's very original and expert piano playing, this 18-track roundup of some of his best instrumentals should fit the bill. Part of Capitol's three-volume series of Cole's classic trio sides (the other two cover the vocals), The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio includes gem after gem from the group's 1943-1949 prime and features the classic lineup that included guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller. With Cole and Moore seamlessly blending lines throughout, the group forged the standard for many a piano trio to follow by way of classics like "Jumpin' at Capitol," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "These Foolish Things"…
A single-CD collection of Nat King Cole never does him justice, as there are too many songs to cover. This package is not very hit-oriented, does not feature his brilliant piano playing, and is laden with string arrangements. There is a version of the corny "People," but also great takes of "Lush Life," classics such as "Too Young to Go Steady" and "Smile," and the obscure "Mother Nature and Father Time." Search for a better "best-of" that is more platinum than tin.