Wolcum Yule (2003)

Trad. English, Trad. Irish, John Tavener, Anonymous, Trad. Scottish, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Maxwell Davies, Geoffrey Burgon, Henry VIII, Trad. Welsh, Trad. Cornish, Benjamin Britten

Anonymous 4, Marsha Genensky, Andrew Lawrence-King, Johanna Maria Rose, Susan Hellauer

Many of the symbols and practices of the Celtic midwinter celebration known as Yule (probably several thousand years older than the festival of Christmas) have come down to us in a curious amalgamation of mythologies, pagan and Christian. Yule marks the time of the winter solstice, around 21st December—the longest
and darkest night of the year, when the coming of spring seems a faint hope. To fortify that hope, the ancient Celts, who dwelt throughout Britain, held
a celebration of lights, to give power to the returning sun. They brought evergreens into their homes to symbolize life at the time when most of nature seemed dead and
dark, and they gave and received gifts to represent wisdom gained from looking inward during the long winter nights. These symbols, and many other elements of ancient pagan ceremonies, were absorbed into the early Christian festivals, blending into a multi-layered expression of the universal cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
The traditional music associated with the mid-winter festival is also interwoven with threads of pre-Christian ritual and folk customs. The concerns of an ancient people dependent upon the whims of nature for food and shelter are expressed not only in imagery of the natural world, but even in the form of the songs themselves. The word “carol” (from Old French carole) originally meant a dance performed in a circle, the dancers also singing a verse with a recurring refrain. This was
probably derived from ancient ritual dances with call-and-response chanting, used at magical ceremonies throughout the cycle of the year.
Even by the Middle Ages, the carol was not limited to the winter season; only much later
did the term take on its present meaning of a song for the Christmas season.

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Anonymous 4

Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition to create their magical sound. Their programs have included music from the year 1000; the ecstatic music and poetry of the 12th-century abbess and mystic, Hildegard of Bingen; 13th-century chant and polyphony from England, France, and Spain; American folksongs, shape note tunes, and gospel songs; and works newly written for the group. Anonymous 4 has performed for sold-out audiences on major concert series and at festivals throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; and has made 19 best-selling recordings for harmonia mundi usa.

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Wolcum Yule (2003)

Trad. English, Trad. Irish, John Tavener, Anonymous, Trad. Scottish, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Maxwell Davies, Geoffrey Burgon, Henry VIII, Trad. Welsh, Trad. Cornish, Benjamin Britten

Anonymous 4, Marsha Genensky, Andrew Lawrence-King, Johanna Maria Rose, Susan Hellauer

    CLASSICS TODAY

"Highlights are many, but include Peter Maxwell Davies' uniquely affecting A Calendar of Kings, basically a fanciful harmonic journey through the wondrous imagery of George Mackay Brown's poem--a mystical trip not through Eastern landscapes but rather through the poet's own Orkney Islands--that's full of wild and wonderful colors and startling effects that show off Anonymous 4's rarely heard contemporary-music chops. ...if it's possible that there are listeners new to this group, here's an easy way to get to know its matchless sound and enduring, engaging personality." -

Wolcum Yule (2003)

Trad. English, Trad. Irish, John Tavener, Anonymous, Trad. Scottish, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Maxwell Davies, Geoffrey Burgon, Henry VIII, Trad. Welsh, Trad. Cornish, Benjamin Britten

Anonymous 4, Marsha Genensky, Andrew Lawrence-King, Johanna Maria Rose, Susan Hellauer

Producer: Robina G. Young
Recording Engineer: Brad Michel
Recording location: Skywalker Sound California
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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HMU907325: Wolcum Yule
01:05:27   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Awake, and join the cheerful choir
Trad. English
00:04:09   Select quality & channels above
2.
Good people all (vocal solo)
Trad. Irish
00:06:05   Select quality & channels above
3.
The seven rejoices of Mary
Trad. Irish
00:03:43   Select quality & channels above
4.
The Lamb (a cappella)
John Tavener
00:03:01   Select quality & channels above
5.
A Scots Lilt (instrumental)
Anonymous
00:03:33   Select quality & channels above
6.
Balulalow (vocal solo)
Trad. Scottish
00:03:37   Select quality & channels above
7.
Balulalow (a cappella)
Richard Rodney Bennett
00:01:39   Select quality & channels above
8.
The holly and the ivy (a cappella)
Trad. English
00:03:14   Select quality & channels above
9.
The Reel of Tullochgorum (instrumental)
Trad. Scottish
00:03:45   Select quality & channels above
10.
I saw three ships
Trad. English
00:02:54   Select quality & channels above
11.
A Calendar of Kings (a cappella)
Peter Maxwell Davies
00:06:02   Select quality & channels above
12.
Air: La fuar geimhreadh (instrumental)
Trad. Irish
00:04:13   Select quality & channels above
13.
An teicheadh go hEigipt (vocal solo)
Trad. Irish
00:03:21   Select quality & channels above
14.
A god, and yet a man?
Geoffrey Burgon
00:01:25   Select quality & channels above
15.
Grene growith the holy (a cappella)
Henry VIII
00:03:51   Select quality & channels above
16.
Wel, dymar borau gorau (Behold, here is the best morning)
Trad. Welsh
00:03:15   Select quality & channels above
17.
The Cherry Tree Carol (vocal solo)
Trad. English
00:02:38   Select quality & channels above
18.
Can wassel (Wassail Song)
Trad. Cornish
00:02:48   Select quality & channels above
19.
A New Year Carol
Benjamin Britten
00:02:14   Select quality & channels above

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