Cantique de Noël – French Music for Christmas from Berlioz to Debussy
Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Geoffrey Webber
These are very classy performances from the Choir of Gonville & Caius College whose singing is full of character as they offer an alternative to the traditional seasonal fare with a delightful French flavour. They are accompanied by some ‘smoky’ organ accompaniments from Luke Fitzgerald and the whole performance, at Exeter College, Oxford, has been suitably captured by the Delphian engineers. There are many favourites here, one that we have particularly enjoyed being Berlioz’ heavenly L’adieu des bergers à la sainte famille arranged from L’Enfance du Christ, Op. 25. There are also some rarities to explore and a different harmonisation, by Gounod, of Adeste fideles (O’ come all ye faithful to English speakers!) presented as a Portuguese hymn.
This release was a most unexpected pleasure and one that has been played on several occasions in the iClassical listening rooms. Highly recommended – give it a try.