Selected and edited by Jeremy Dibble, this collection brings together twelve richly varied carols by six British composers well known in the Edwardian era. Here are simple strophic carols with elegant melodies and rich in harmonic interest typical of the 'High Victorian' style. Here too are 'partsong' carols by Stanford, Parry and Elgar, a style highly popular in Edwardian England where the part-writing is more intricate and varied. There are two contrasted settings of Ben Johnson's I Sing The Birth: Elgar's hauntingly beautiful setting which fuses archaism and romanticism, and Parry's spirited version, fully expressive of the text's joy. And in John Stainter's The Child Jesus In The Garden, there is a poignant and extended carol with organ accompaniment, the text of which gently weaves together the message of Christmas and Passiontide with delicated imagery of flowers.
With a fascinating introduction to the carols and notes on sources and editorial policy, this collection restores a range of highly attractive carols to the repertoire, and as such will be welcomed by all mixed-voice choris looking to refresh their Christmas programs.