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The Holly and the Ivy: Carols from Clare College

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The Holly and the Ivy: Carols from Clare College

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Initially released in 1979, this album built on the success of the legendary Carols for Choirs volumes in establishing John Rutter's name with the wider public, and it gave a strong hint that he was more than just a talented composer-arranger. As the many subsequent releases on the Collegium label have also shown, Rutter is a deeply sensitive and musical conductor, alive to the color of words, always allowing phrases to breathe naturally. The accomplished Clare College Choir features male and female voices, the latter providing a more rounded alternative to those world-famous neighbors in Cambridge. Included are many of Rutter's own easy-listening carol arrangements ("King Jesus Hath a Garden" and "Wexford Carol," for example), plus others by the likes of Vaughan Williams and David Willcocks, while "Donkey Carol" and "Mary's Lullaby" are quintessential Rutter originals. Only a few numbers can be classed (statistically) as all-time Christmas faves--the likes of "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Ding Dong Merrily on High"--but this needn't deter anyone from snapping up what is the perfect album to accompany Christmas pud mixing (preferably by candlelight, imagining the twilight scene in Ely Cathedral's Lady Chapel, whose glorious acoustic graces the sound). --Andrew Green

The Holly and the Ivy: Carols from Clare College