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Britten: Saint Nicolas - A Ceremony of Carols

Britten: Saint Nicolas - A Ceremony of Carols

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Crouch End Festival Chorus presents two Britten classics: Saint Nicolas and A Ceremony of Carols. Full of vibrancy and drama, Saint Nicolas is performed alongside the fabulous BBC Concert Orchestra and features tenor Mark Le Brocq as well as Coldfall Primary School Choir, members of Hertfordshire Chorus and Hannah Brine Choirs. The ever-popular A Ceremony of Carols is performed with harpist Sally Pryce, with both works conducted by David Temple. A Ceremony of Carols (1942/3) and Saint Nicolas (1948) are the earliest works that Benjamin Britten composed for public performance primarily for boys’ voices. These performances, recorded here at London’s All Saint’s Church and Alexandra Palace Theatre, truly show how glorious these two pieces of music are, and why they have remained so popular.


This album stands out, for it might be considered an authentic performance. The main choir, gallery choir, boy soloists, and duo pianists here are all amateurs, and they bring a sense of discovery to the work and its narrative quality that's different from professional choir performances. The Ceremony of Carols has the requisite bright innocence, and the boy soloists in Saint Nicolas are top-notch. Conductor David Temple deserves special notice here, fusing the members of four separate choirs into a seamless whole. The engineering in the recently restored and acoustically ideal Alexandra Palace Theater is a bonus on top of this fine slice of the English choral tradition.

– (James Manheim)

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 06, 2020

  • UPC: 635212064924

  • Catalog Number: SIGCD649

  • Label: Signum Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Benjamin Britten

  • Conductor: David Temple

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Concert Orchestra, Crouch End Festival Chorus

  • Performer: Mark Le Brocq, Sally Pryce