Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols, Saint Nicolas / Lay
Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Holst Singers, Temple Church Choristers, City of London Sinfonia, Stephen Layton
Composed by: BRITTEN, B.
Stephen Layton leads the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Holst Singers in two of Benjamin Britten's most popular choral works for Christmastide. The cantata Saint Nicolas tells the story of the original Santa Claus, a fourth-century saint whose altruistic acts led to his canonization as patron saint of children and sailors. Britten's lively setting is distinctly operatic, full of atmosphere and color <0x2014> with the story brought 'home' through the use of congregational hymns. The part of Nicolas (here sung magnificently by Allan Clayton, already acclaimed as the heir to Peter Pears and Anthony Rolfe Johnson) is one of Britten's great heroic tenor roles. A Ceremony of Carols is a setting for treble voices and harp of some of the Medieval texts that Britten loved so much, and is heard every Christmas in cathedrals, churches and concert halls throughout the world. This fresh, sparkling performance completes a thoroughly festive release.