O Nata Lux: Contemplative Christmas Classics (CR044)
Review by Julian Elloway, Church Music Quarterly
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The Gentlemen Singers are a professional male octet from Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic, who champion sacred music there, commissioning it as well as singing it. They are joined by soprano Kamila Zbořilová on this beautiful CD of Advent and Christmas music that includes three of Margaret Rizza’s ‘O’ Antiphons: O Sapientia, O Clavis David and O Oriens. English-language works range from Byrd’s Lullaby, my sweet little baby to Tavener’s The Lamb. The title track is Morten Lauridsen’s O nata lux, sung with a rapt intensity that captures the heavenly light of the text. Stephen Hatfield has arranged Gaudete and his own version of Beacon Hill Carol specifically for these singers. Jakub Kubín has arranged for them the Polish carol Lulajze Jezuniu, sung here with sincerity and simplicity – such a contrast to the ‘three tenors’ version! There is an intimacy about the performances that is well-captured by the recordings – the whole disk draws one into the preparation for and the mystery of the Incarnation. Highly recommended, especially perhaps for when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of pre-Christmas and focus on what it is really about.
Julian Elloway, Church Music Quarterly, December 2018
Church Music Quarterly (CMQ) is the RSCM magazine, published in March, June, September and December of each year. It is available exclusively to Members and Friends of the RSCM.
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