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CD Review

Gabriel's Greeting

Medieval English Christmas Music

Sinfonye/Stevie Wishart
Hyperion Helios CDH55151 63m DDD
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Most Christmas CDs churn out the usual favourites but this collection takes us back to almost a millennium ago and has a special fascination about it. These are almost unknown tunes but Sinfonye's interpretations certainly rise to the occasion.

As Wishart espouses in his notes, the secular music coming from England is limited but has a distinctive character of its own. Here, the most substantial piece is 'Lolay, lolay, Als I lay on Yoleis night', discovered at the Cambridge University Library, ten minutes of triads and dual time notes that make for some fascinating listening. This is definitely a disc for the brave adventurer into that unknown Christmas territory.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech