Carols from Clare
Clare College Singers and Orchestra
conducted by John Rutter
original recordings, 1967 and 1970
this compilation, 1988
I looked up the word carol and found: "A Christmas song, hymn, canticle" and the verb carol means, "to sing or say something happily." Isn't that lovely? Singing happily. And the songs on this cd are very happy, very cheerful and cheering. I've featured cds by Mr Rutter before and I just love the work he does, the songs he chooses, and the songs he himself writes.
There are twenty-four carols on the album, and every one is lovely. I can't think of nicer music to play on this first Sunday in Advent. You may hear snippets of songs here, buy mp3s, or the whole album if you love it. It is also available at iTunes.
When asked about his feelings on the holiday, Rutter replies, "For me, first and foremost, Christmas is happy memories of the way it was celebrated when I was a kid. As everyone would probably say, it revolves around the family and gatherings. But it also revolves around my school chapel. I was at a school in north London that happened to have a chapel with a fine choir. And our Christmas carol service was the high point of our singing year. So I actually developed a love of the whole music of Christmas, along with the message of Christmas, from when I was a kid. With music, your Christmas can always be perfect. With real-life Christmas, there's always something that's going to go a bit wrong. You're hoping it's going to snow on Christmas day, but it doesn't. Or your turkey smells absolutely gorgeous, but it turns out that it's a bit burned when you come to eat it. But the music of Christmas is always perfect, and so I love to remember and celebrate Christmas in music and song."