King's College Choir of Cambridge

Classic Christmas Carols

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Recorded between 1969 and 2004, the 51 selections on Classic Christmas Carols are sacred standards of the holiday, yet presented with such uneven sound quality and unpredictable volume levels that fans of this music may find this EMI double-disc hard to sit through without frequent adjustments. Granted, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, is one of the world's finest men-and-boys ensembles, and one can hardly improve on the subtle direction of David Willcocks, Philip Ledger, and Stephen Cleobury, all celebrated in the field of choral conducting. The repertoire will be familiar to most, though it naturally leans toward favorites in the Anglican Church, and the atmosphere around the choir and organ arrangements -- in some cases with brass -- is decidedly ecclesiastical. But this is where many audio problems begin, because the recording of choirs in church settings creates problems in recording set-ups, depending on acoustic conditions, and the choices made by different sound engineers vary widely and can be quite noticeable. The combination of ADD and DDD recordings yields mixed results and makes the album difficult for focused home listening. However, if it is played as background music for parties or other festive gatherings, it will lend a joyous holiday feeling without losing too much effect in the softer tracks.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 5:15
2 2:19
3 4:47
4 3:09
5 4:08
6 3:04
7 2:50
8 4:23 Amazon
9 3:35 Amazon
10 3:29 Amazon
11 2:38
12 1:08
13 2:42
14 3:03
15 4:18
16 1:57
17 1:53
18 2:47
19 3:06
20 3:01 Amazon
21 3:08
22 1:51
23 2:28
24 2:33
25
2:41

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:54
2 3:25
3 3:28
4 1:43
5 3:31
6 2:06
7 1:52
8 3:30
9 3:18
10 2:28
11 2:02
12 4:26
13 2:00
14 1:51
15 3:38
16 2:13
17 2:08
18 1:15
19 3:17
20 3:38
21 3:15
22 3:16
23 2:28
24 2:16
25
5:05
26 2:43
blue highlight denotes track pick