And to all, a good night of music
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 10/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Soon it will be the time for shops to be setting out their Christmas items, for while Christmas comes but once a year, in fact people are working toward it all year long. The same is true for composers and musical performers. I found it amusing to learn that this particular CD of Christmas-related organ music was performed in August of 1995; of course, to be prepared in time for the holiday season, it had to be done ahead of time. Not quite Christmas in July, but close!
This music was performed over the two days in August by Kevin Bower, at the organ in Chichester Cathedral in the United Kingdom. This is straight organ performing - no back choir or orchestral accompaniment. Bower is a nimble and spirited player, with a good sense of holiday mood for the pieces.
Some of the pieces are very classic Christmas pieces - Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus', set for organ solo, is a very familiar piece, as are J.S. Bach's sinfonia from the Christmas Oratorio and 'In dulci jubilo' (the later piece also has a setting by Johann Michael Bach). There are some more modern pieces, too, such as John Rutter's Prelude on 'God rest you merry, gentlemen' and W.S. Lloyd-Webber's Interlude on the Coventry Carol.
This is wonderful music, perfect for relaxing, listening to while preparing for holiday get-togethers, as background music during such get-togethers, or to reacquaint oneself with the music of the holiday season.