On this 2013 Deutsche Grammophon release, oboist Albrecht Mayer and the King's Singers present a Christmas album that is curiously tinged with nostalgia and melancholy. The King's Singers are famous for their high spirits and frequent silliness, and though such holiday favorites as "Let It Snow," "Jingle Bells," "Sérénade d'hiver," and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" bring an upbeat feeling to the album, far more tracks evoke the subdued and poignant emotions of the season. Praetorius' Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen, "What Child Is This?," "The Wild Wood Carol," "She Moved through the Fair," "Aleh Neri," and the "Evening Prayer" from Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel offer soft and subdued moods, while Mayer's solos in the Largo from Vivaldi's Winter Concerto, the Sinfonia from Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Albinoni's Adagio, and Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring lend a reverent beauty to the program. This lovely album is appropriate for quiet seasonal listening at home.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|The Four Seasons: Winter|
|Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248|
|Suite No. 4 for harpsichord in D minor, HWV 437|
|Cantata, BWV 147|
|Hänsel und Gretel|