Potential listeners might reasonably assume that an album titled simply Noël would consist of traditional Christmas fare, but violinist Angèle Dubeau and her string ensemble La Pietà take a different route. The only widely familiar piece is an arrangement of "Silent Night," and the remainder of the album is devoted to music written for the Christmas season by a wide range of composers from the Baroque to the contemporary. Vivaldi, Torelli, and Molter are represented by Christmas-themed violin concertos. There are string arrangements of several French carols not likely to be familiar to general audiences, and of songs by Sibelius, John Ireland, and Dave Brubeck. The album's most striking piece is Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy's arrangement of Jesous Ahatonhia, a carol written in 1641 in the Huron language by a Jesuit missionary. The tune itself is merely the framework for a gorgeously evocative little tone poem. The composer wrote that she wanted to create a work with an "imagery of ice, snow, solitude, and prayer," and it would be hard to find a better description of her magical piece. Dubeau and La Pietà reliably turn out recordings of exceptional polish, nuance, and warmth, and this album is no exception. Any fan of string playing of the highest order is likely to be pleased with this disc. Analekta's sound is clean, detailed, and present.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Concerto in E major, RV 270 "Per il santissimo natale"|
|Concerto a Quatro in Forma di Pastorale, Op. 8 No. 6 "Per il santissimo natale"|
|Concerto Pastorale in G major|
|La Fiesta de la Posada|
|Jour de Fête|