Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas

Album cover art for upc 822252226928
Label: AVIE
Catalog: AV2269
Format: CD&DVD

Apollo's Fire: Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichord & conductor with Meredith Hall, soprano; Ensemble Le Nef & Sylvain Bergeron

To include: Processional: Oikan ayns Bethlehem (Manx Gaelic carol), What Child is This? (Irish version), Duan Nollaig (Scottish Gaelic Carol), Wat ye what i got late yestreen (Instrumental), Usheg Veg Ruy (Manx Gaelic lullaby), Christmas Eve (Irish Reel), Taladh Chriosta (Scottish Lullaby)

"Oikan ains Bethlehem." With these Gaelic words, a candle is lit, a procession is launched, and a haunting Christmas journey unfolds. Sacrum Mysterium, Apollo's Fire's hugely popular Celtic Christmas programme, which they premiered in six sold-out concerts in their home base of Cleveland last season, arrives on CD for the 2012 holiday season.
Long before Christianity took hold in Scotland and Ireland, the ancient Celts celebrated the Winter Solstice and the coming of light and hope. Jeannette Sorrell's celebration of Celtic artistic traditions interweaves selections from medieval Vespers with ancient pagan carols and popular tunes from 17th-century Welsh and Scottish manuscripts. Joyous fiddle tunes and Irish dances burst forth against the vivid backdrop of the unfolding Christ story. The colourful sounds of antiphonal bagpipes, archlute, harp, percussion, fiddles and recorders are blended in musical arrangements by Sylvain Bergeron and Sorrell. The Montreal-based early-music ensemble La Nef joins Apollo's Fire for this international collaboration featuring the radiant Canadian soprano Meredith Hall. The CD is complemented with a bonus DVD featuring several songs from the album. Sacrum Mysterium joins Apollo's Fire's critically acclaimed, Billboard chart topping discography on AVIE.
critical acclaim
"A grand holiday stew made from deliciously blended sacred and secular ingredients ... An affecting and exuberant gathering ... From utter simplicity to heartfelt passion" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Price: $23.98