In 2000, the Philippine Viva Records label released Christmas of All. The album features choral singing of secular and religious songs for the Christmas season. While the singing is rooted in the Gregorian chant, it isn't all performed in the plainsong style (i.e., in unison without instrumental accompaniment), and instrumental backing is often heard. According to the liner notes, the aim of the album is to invoke the Gregorian chant and to create "cathedral sound," which is "both inspirational and soothing to the spirit." The album was recorded after the success of Servant of All, a religious-themed album released by Viva earlier in the year. The album opens with a string section playing the beautiful "Angelic Musical Variations," followed by the choir's cathedral sound on "Hosanna Filo David," which is sung reverently in the plainsong style. A central theme runs through the album concerning angels -- their existence and power -- and "Hosanna Filo David" contains a prayer called "Angels on High." Also performed is Georg Friedrich Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," sung beautifully by the University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors. The trumpets sound glorious here. "Ang Aking Pamasko" (My Christmas Gift) features a haunting ethnic sound, played by the pennywhistle. Also performed is the "Agnes Dei," containing a spoken passage called "Angels in Heaven and Earth." Christmas of All is a very reverent and somber album and might not command a wide audience, who may want something more accessible. Still, the album is beautiful.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales
feat: Fabian Obispo
feat: Eugene Villaluz