Christmas Orchestral Music

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Bethlehem Down; Coventry Carol; The First Nowell
PERFORMER: City of Prague Philharmonic
CATALOGUE NO: 8.557099

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If it’s traditional carols you want, there are plenty to be heard (albeit not sung) on Naxos’s CHRISTMAS ORCHESTRAL MUSIC (8.557099, £5.99), an all-British collection from the City of Prague Philharmonic that includes both Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s nostalgic Twenties Carol Symphony (with its affecting meshing of the mourning ‘Coventry Carol’ on muted brass with ‘The First Nowell’ on bell-like harp) and Peter Warlock’s mystical modern carol ‘Bethlehem Down (written specifically to earn enough cash to get ‘suitably drunk’ at Christmas) as well as more recent carollings by Patric Standford, Bryan Kelly and Philip Lane.