Anonymous 4: Wolcum Yule

Anonymous 4: Wolcum Yule

Harmonia Mundi  HMU 807325

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Vocal

"Wolcum Yule, Celtic and British Songs and Carols"
Traditional English: Awake, and join the cheerful choir; The holly and the ivy; I saw three ships; The Cherry Tree Carol
Traditional Irish: Good people all; The seven rejoices of Mary; Air "Lá fuar geimhreadh"; An teicheadh go hEigipt
John Tavener: The Lamb
Anonymous 17th Century: A Scots Lilt
Traditional Scottish: Balulalow; The Reel of Tullochgorum
Richard Rodney Bennett [1936-]: Balulalow
Peter Maxwell Davies [1934-]: A Calendar of Kings
Geoffrey Burgon [1941-]: A god, and yet a man?
King Henry VIII [1491-1547]: Grene growith the holy
Traditional Welsh: Wel, dymalr borau gorau
Traditional Cornish: Can wassel (Wassail Song)
Benjamin Britten [1913-1976]: A New Year Carol

Andrew Lawrence-King (Irish harp, baroque harp, psaltery)
Anonymous 4

Andrew Lawrence-King's virtuoso harp joins the voices of Anonymous 4 in a wealth of Yuletide music, favourite and rare, from the British Isles. Juxtaposing pagan and Christian traditions, the programme interweaves English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ballads and carols with well-loved pieces by John Tavener (The Lamb), Benjamin Britten, and a newly commissioned work by Peter Maxwell Davies. Andrew Lawrence-King adds special colour playing a variety of instruments: psaltery, Baroque harp, and a remarkable Irish "Queen Mary" harp which sounds as if it contains its own peal of heavenly bells.

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DSD recording
Reviews (1)

Review by John Broggio - December 3, 2006

This is my first Anonymous 4 disc and, on the basis of this performance, I am not entirely sure why they are so feted in some quarters.

A potentially interesting project that gathers together many traditional Celtic songs and carols together with a mixture of new carols and some instrumental works. What lets down this disc is the almost uniform response from Anonymous 4 which somewhat undermines the tremendous research that the group have done themselves and enrolled others into helping them.

The only variety of mood comes from Andrew Lawrence-King who frequently provides the disc with much needed spirit. Anonymous 4 live up to the first part of their collective name all to well! There is far too little differentiation between the celebratory and the reflective and together the overwhelming feeling is boredom.

The recording is good without being exceptional in any way.

A bland and largely uninteresting disc.


Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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