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Gentlemen of st. John's College Cambridge - Gentle Christmas

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Gentlemen of st. John's College Cambridge
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A Gentle Christmas is a wide selection of Christmas music ranging from 15th Century polyphony to new arrangements of traditional carols and popular classics. The majority of the arrangements have been written by current and former members of The Gentlemen of St John's (affectionately known as The Gents), and have proved firm favourites at their famous set at The Maypole and at their annual Christmas concert at St John's. In addition to these, the disc also includes several new commissions. The first five tracks comprise sacred music which one might hear in services at St John's, featuring two contrasting settings of O Magnum Mysterium, taken from the Christmas rite of Matins. Nesciens Mater, a quadruple canon composed by Jean Mouton - said to be the first master of eight-part composition - was, in 2007, voted 'the second best Christmas track of the year' by Gramophone Magazine. Such a rich vocal texture is complemented with the beautifully simple setting of the medieval Coventry Carol and Lute-book Lullabye, a carol commissioned for the disc from David Bevan. The following six tracks feature arrangements of traditional Christmas carols alongside a setting of Daniel Terry's poem The Winds Whistle Cold by Herbert Howells, acting Director of Music of The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge during the Second World War. Former Directors of Music, Dr David Hill and Dr Christopher Robinson, have written beautiful arrangements of Silent Night and The Christmas Song especially for this recording. Completing the set is Timothy Noon's arrangement of the traditional Irish 12th Century Wexford Carol, and two cradle-songs, arranged and composed by current and former members of the group - Andrew Gant and James Burton; Away in a Manger and Balulalow. The second half of the disc is an assortment of Christmas close-harmony. There are arrangements written by recent members of The Gents, from Peter Morton's lively and eccentric collection, including Let it Snow, to warmer numbers such as Léon Charles's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas along with Peter Gritton's Winter Wonderland. There are also a number of arrangements written especially for the recording - Robert Rice, along with his arrangement of Wonderful Christmastime, has written a passionate rendition of the WHAM! Classic, Last Christmas, which complements Gordon Langford's bouncy setting of Jingle Bells and Ben Parry's sparkling new arrangement of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.

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1) O Magnum Mysterium
2) Nesciens Mater
3) Coventry Carol
4) O Magnum Mysterium
5) Lute-Book Lullaby
6) Balulalow
7) Away in a Manger
8) The Winds Whistle Cold
9) Wexford Carol
10) Silent Night
11) The Christmas Song
12) Let It Snow
13) Merry Xmas Everybody
14) Jingle Bells
15) Winter Wonderland
16) I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
17) When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney
18) Wonderful Christmastime
19) Last Christmas
20) I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
21) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Gentle Christmas
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Gentle Christmas | Gentlemen of st. John's College Cambridge

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