Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

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ChrisBrewster
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Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by ChrisBrewster » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:28 pm

I'd like to get a good recent recording of Britten's Ceremony of Carols. It's written for treble voices, though there is also a version for mixed chorus. The only recordings I know are old ones, such as Robert Shaw's 1964 version, using all women for the chorus and the soloists. Maybe because that's how I know it, or maybe because I like female voices better for high parts, I'd like to find another all-female version, but the listings I can find seem to use countertenors and boy sopranos. I'm thinking Shaw's 1997 version might be female, but it's hard to get good information.Can anyone suggest a female version?

Lance
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Re: Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by Lance » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:20 am

From all information I can garner, it looks like Telarc 80461 is all women. I don't have this disc - surprised that I don't because I am a Robert Shaw fan. One thing is for sure ... the recording will be spectacular. Telarc did a superb job in recording anything by Shaw. Plus, it's a mid-priced CD!
ChrisBrewster wrote:I'd like to get a good recent recording of Britten's Ceremony of Carols. It's written for treble voices, though there is also a version for mixed chorus. The only recordings I know are old ones, such as Robert Shaw's 1964 version, using all women for the chorus and the soloists. Maybe because that's how I know it, or maybe because I like female voices better for high parts, I'd like to find another all-female version, but the listings I can find seem to use countertenors and boy sopranos. I'm thinking Shaw's 1997 version might be female, but it's hard to get good information.Can anyone suggest a female version?
Lance G. Hill
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Corlyss_D
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Re: Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:30 am

Why are you limiting yourself to more recent recordings? What's the advantage when there's some classics to be had.


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My personal favorite

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Another excellent choice
Corlyss
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Marc
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Re: Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by Marc » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:08 pm

I love this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Britten-Choral-Wo ... B000B86582

The ensemble includes female sopranos & altos, and male altos.
So not entirely female, yet worth a try.

jtattoo
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Re: Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by jtattoo » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:19 am

I don't think I can help for recordings, but a little bit about the piece. Number one, it pays the first 6 months rent for every harpist I know!!!!! Also after about 50 performance, it wears very thin. It originally was written for boys choir and harp. And in all of the years I played it, the truly wonderful moments happened with that setting. When you add tenors and basses for SATB, the men simply can't sing "This Little Babe" fast enough and still sound absolutely clear. I would search old English recordings with harpist Ossian Ellis. He premiered the work and was one of Brittens closest friends. Definitely try to fine one was with boys choir. I must have played the piece over 100 times and to this day, the solo Interlude for the harp never did make much senses. Give me "Billy Budd"!!!!

val
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Re: Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by val » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:30 am

I like the SONY version recorded in 1996, by the Westminster Abbey Choir directed by Martin Neary. It includes the Cantata "Rejoice in the Lamb" and "Abraham and Isaac".

Among the soloists we find Michael Chance and Ian Bostridge.

Jared
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Re: Recordings of Britten's Ceremony of Carols

Post by Jared » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:24 am

The Westminster Cathedral Choir version on Hyperion gets a particularly write-up:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Britten-Ceremon ... 162&sr=8-6

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