Janice Watson (soprano) Peter Hoare (tenor) Stephen Gadd (baritone) Guildford Choral Society St Catherine’s School Choir Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor
Vaughan Williams’s Christmas Cantata Hodie (This Day) is a brilliant mosaic of musical styles set to poetry from the most diverse sources.
Texts by Milton, Hardy, & George Herbert reflecting various Christmas experiences are bound together by a narration of the Gospel Nativity story sung in unison by a boys’ choir.
With its gripping blend of mysticism, heavenly glory & human hope, Hodie flows with a vitality & inventiveness that belie a work written in Vaughan Williams’s old age.
The Fantasia on Christmas Carols, which incorporates a number of traditional English carols, is notable for the obbligato cello part and for the varied treatment of the choir, which provide an atmospheric choral-orchestral texture.
“These are…engaging performances… in spacious modern sound…” BBC Music Magazine, December 2007 ****
“This is a work that should be done far more often… The clamour of bells, large and small, and of celebration prepare any audience to go out glowing into the snowy night and home.” MusicWeb International