The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School

Christmas in Harvard Square

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As the booklet to this Decca release notes, St. Paul's Choir School of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the only Catholic boys' choir school in the U.S. One can see why, with handsome profits being reaped from the various similar institutions across the Atlantic, the Decca label might have been interested in trying to generate a similar recording institution in the U.S. In this first attempt the results are mixed, but promising. The sound of the choir is unusual, with large groups of boy trebles over three-to-a-part altos, tenors, and basses. The spotlight is on the trebles, and they do not falter in pitch; they stay cohesive in the rather murky spaces of their home church, and they bring a good deal of warmth to the generally familiar melodies on display. This is good, for the program itself sticks closely to the middle of the road with a mixture of Renaissance pieces, carols, chant, and contemporary pieces, many of them standard fare for anyone who has sung in an American glee club. Listeners should note the stated aim: "this music allows us to collaborate in the great endeavor that is the New Evangelization." Those of a more ecumenical frame of mind will find English recordings for Christmas season that approach the story and its choral traditions with greater sense of resonance and history, and, for now, greater skill. But for those already evangelized, this album will bring both conviction and some notably good boychoir singing.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:48 Amazon
2 03:34
3 03:28 Amazon
4 01:54 Amazon
5 03:23 Amazon
6 03:16 Amazon
7 04:03 Amazon
8 03:08 Amazon
9 03:16
10 04:33 Amazon
11 02:31
12 04:13
13 02:24 Amazon
14 02:46
15 02:27
16 02:40
17 03:49
18 02:32
19 03:08
blue highlight denotes track pick