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A Babe is Born: Music for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany (CD) - WHR046CDFP
A Babe is Born: Music for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany (CD)

This is the début recording of the mixed choir of Bangor Cathedral, under the direction of J. Paul Booth.  A Babe is Born: Music for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany brings together some popular carols (some sung in Welsh) with some lesser known items, including the world première recording of Ian Higginson's exquisite Balulalow, written for the choir in 2014.  With sensitive organ playing from Martin J. Brown, this album is the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas celebrations.

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Boris Ord: Adam lay y bounden
Hans Leo Hassler:  Dixit Maria
Benjamin Britten:  A Hymn to the Virgin
Thomas Oliver: Lo! He comes with clouds descending
Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale Prelude 'Nun komm, der heiden Heiland', BWV 659Adolphe Adam:  O Holy Night (Cantique de Noël)
David Evans: Tua Bethlem dref
Ian Higginson: Balulalow
Edward Elgar: Lo! Christ the Lord is born
Franz Grüber: Dawel nos (Silent Night)
William Mathias: A babe is born
Charles Quef: Noël Parisienne
arr. David Willcocks: God rest you merry, gentlemen
arr. Charles Wood: Ding dong! Merrily on higharr. David Willcocks: O deuwch, ffyddloniad (O come, all ye faithful)arr. Mack Wilberg: Noe! Noe!William Crotch: Lo! star-led chiefsHerbert Howells: Here is the little doorarr. David Willcocks: Earth has many a noble cityCraig Sellar Lang: Tres Magi de gentibus

Recorded:  7th & 8th October2015, Wyastone Hall, UK
Recording Producers:  Tony Faulkner  
Recording Engineers:  Tony Faulkner
Release Date:  October 2016

Côr Cadeirlan Bangor Cathedral Choir

The earliest surviving reference to a choir and an organ at Bangor Cathedral comes from the celebrated Welsh bard Dafydd ap Gwilym (c. 1315 – c. 1370) who, when writing a commendatory ode to Dean Hywel ap Goronwy said . . .whose organ, and harmonious choir, are unrivalled in performance . . . there is no one who can be compared to them.

As far as we are aware, other than probably during the Commonwealth period, there has been an unbroken tradition of choral and organ music at the Cathedral since the fourteenth century. Records from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries speak of the Scholars from the Friars School (Bangor’s Grammar school founded in 1557) wearing surplices and being paid £2 annually for attending the Cathedral. In 1691 it was stipulated that the Scholars who sang at the Cathedral now be called Singing Boys and paid from Cathedral funds. Singing Men were, in 1691, paid an annual stipend of £6 rising to £8 by 1698.

These days the Cathedral Choir consists of three distinct, yet collaborating elements; a Boys’ Choir, a Girls’ Choir (established in 2012 by its founding director, Paul Booth) and a back row of Countertenors, Tenors & Basses. The trebles are drawn from a number of schools throughout the city whilst the lower voices are auditioned as Choral Scholars from the University of Bangor and supported by a small number of established Lay Clerks.

The choir is directed on this recording by Paul Booth who has served as the Cathedral‘s Director of Music since 2014.

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