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New York Polyphony: Sing Thee Nowell

Veni Emmanuel
Adam lay ybounden
Gabriel archangelus
Gabriel archangelus
There is no rose of swych vertu
There is no rose (based on the tune Hereford)
There is no rose
Nesciens mater
O pia virgo
Nowell: Out of your sleep
Nowell: Arise and wake
5 Carols
Sleep Now
O Magnum Mysterium
Quem pastores laudavere
Quid petis, O Fili?
Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle
Bethlehem Down
Magi veniunt
O Little Town of Bethlehem

The holiday season generally abounds with similar-sounding releases, but the year 2014 brought an unusually fresh crop including this release from the vocal quartet New York Polyphony, excellently recorded by BIS at a boychoir chapel in Princeton, New Jersey. The group follows the common procedure of including music from the Middle Ages to the present day, but they push the boundaries at each step with a distinctive sound that flirts with, but does not adopt, the textures made famous by the Swingle Singers. This has a revelatory effect in Philippe Verdelot's Gabriel Archangelus, a work that does not sound like much when dutifully sung by a cathedral choir. Many pieces are grouped by Christmas subtheme -- Annunciation, Epiphany, Advent, and Nativity -- and the program is cannily put together to show ideas refracted through the music of various periods. For many, though, the chief attraction will be the impeccably close harmonies of New York Polyphony, and that kind of sheer skill rarely coexists with such programming sophistication. An ideal gift for someone who likes a cappella, small group polyphony.

Item code: 22245C | SACD | $19.95 |add item to cart
Choral | Male | United States
BIS2099SACD