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Gardner: Cantata for Christmas

John Gardner’s Christmas Carols are sung and enjoyed the world over. Alongside the much-loved ‘Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day’ and ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ are some of Gardner’s less well-known carol settings, as well as the World Première recording of the sparkling ‘Cantata for Christmas’ and the intriguing Chamber Concerto for Organ and Ten Players.

JOHN GARDNER (1917-2011)

Cantata for Christmas 
Angels from the realms of glory†
O little town of Bethlehem†
Sunny Bank Carol† 
Entry of the three Kings 
Good King Wenceslas† 
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day
The Holly and the Ivy
We wish you a merry Christmas

(†World Première recordings)

Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor
Chris Gardner, conductor
City of London Choir
The Holst Orchestra
Stephen King
Paulina Voices

Recorded at St Paul’s Girls’ School, Hammersmith in October 2012.
Released November 2012 (EM Records CD009)

For further details and audio extracts, please visit EM Records.


Musicweb International

‘Now this is the sort of thing you could definitely give someone for Christmas… Many of the Christmas Carols on this disc were composed for, or first performed at [St Paul’s Girls’ School], including Gardner’s most well known work, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, which is performed here by Paulina Voices, the auditioned choir of the older girls at St. Paul’s. The girls easily handle the complicated rhythms and provide a beautifully rich and even tone. The other carols are sung by the City of London Choir which also has a lovely warm tone… The choir achieve subtlety in their performance, which is rare with an amateur choir of such large forces.  Hannah Parry-Ridout

‘It’s good to welcome this newcomer especially in the run-up to Christmas. After all, for many it is Gardner’s highly rhythmic and exciting Tomorrow shall be my dancing day that introduced them to his music. It shouldn’t stop there…  The performance is ideal, beautifully balanced and clearly enunciated with some lovely solo work both instrumentally and vocally… Congratulations to all concerned in its presentation and in the wonderfully committed and prepared performances. Worth every penny.  Gary Higginson

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