Friday, September 24, 2010
Just in time for the holidays, the Westminster Choir’s new recording is sure to delight any music lover. Entitled Noël, it features the Choir performing French music from medieval Paris to the present day, taking the listener on a musical Christmas tour with plainsong, carols, and music from Versailles and Notre Dame.
Joining the choir are mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore, a Westminster alumna, and Ken Cowan, a member of Westminster’s organ faculty. It was recorded at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine and St. George’s Stuyvesant Square in New York. The recording includes choral masterworks, such as Charpentier’s In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum and Poulenc’s O Magnum Mysterium, as well as traditional French Christmas songs, such as Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle! (Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabelle!), and Guillô pran ton tamborin! (Patapan).
Praised by American Record Guide as the “gold standard for American academic choirs,” the Westminster Choir has performed and recorded with virtually every major orchestra and conductor of the past 80 years. The New York Times has applauded its “full-bodied, incisive singing.” The ensemble and conductor Joe Miller recently earned four stars from Choir and Organ magazine for its latest recording, Flower of Beauty, which was released in the fall of 2009.
Jennifer Larmore is the most recorded mezzo-soprano of our era. Her recording of Giulio Cesare on Harmonia Mundi received the Grammophon Award for Best Baroque Opera of the year, and she has received seven Grammy nominations.
Ken Cowan is one of the most sought-after organists in North America. He has performed solo recitals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. His awards include first prizes at the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Competition and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music National Competition.
Noël and all Westminster Choir College recordings are available through Westminster’s online store – www.westminsterchoircollege.org, as well as through most major download sites, including iTunes.