Boston Camerata / Joel Cohen

Noel, Noel!: Noels Français/French Christmas Music (1200-1600)

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The Boston Camerata made a number of excellent Christmas albums during the 1970s and 1980s, most of them with period themes: A Medieval Christmas, A Renaissance Christmas, etc. This one focuses on a region rather than a specific musical era, presenting French Christmas music -- both secular and religious -- from a period that spans the years 1200 to 1600. In typical Camerata fashion, Gregorian chants rub shoulders with dance tunes and Marian hymns with bawdy vernacular songs. Many of the compositions come from obscure codices and manuscripts, while others are fragments of works by such well-known figures of the Ars Nova and Renaissance periods as Gilles Binchois, Guillaume Dufay, and the Franco-Flemish master Antoine Brumel. As always, the Camerata's singing is excellent, and the group is accompanied beautifully in the later works by the Boston Shawm and Sacbut Ensemble. Little of the music on this program will sound like "Christmas music" to most people but, for those with a sense of musical adventure, it will make a very fine addition to the holiday repertoire.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Conditor alme siderum, hymn, mode 4
1 1:41
2 0:43
3 3:32
4 2:37
5
1:42
6
1:27
7
1:28
8
2:49
9
1:51
10 1:54
11 4:05
12 7:05
13 1:37
14 2:56
15 2:05
16 2:02
17 1:15
18 2:09
19 1:41
Work(s)
20 1:16
21 1:38
22 1:19
23 1:32
24 1:38
25 1:18
Mass "Sur le pont d'Avignon" for 4 voices
26 2:14
27 2:28
28 1:02
29 2:26
30 1:05
blue highlight denotes track pick