Highly Recommended Album: A CHORAL CHRISTMAS (VOCES8 Foundation Choir and Orchestra)

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by Connor McCormick on November 16, 2023


A wonderful album featuring many beloved Christmas carols of long ago and some not so long ago. Performed by VOCES8 Foundation Choir and Orchestra conducted by Barnaby Smith (Director and Countertenor of VOCES8), this gorgeous collection is majestic, beautiful, and timeless.

The tracklist of A Choral Christmas features eight world premiere recordings: the album’s substantial five-movement centerpiece, Magnificat, by rising American composer Taylor Scott Davis, which will be premiered at Carnegie Hall, New York in May 2024; an intimate and serene new a cappella carol, “The Sleeping Child,” written especially for VOCES8 by British composer Bob Chilcott; six sparkling new carol arrangements for choir and orchestra including “Joy to the World”, “Silent Night”, “O Come, All Ye Faithful” – five arranged by Taylor Scott Davis – and “Gabriel’s Message” by Jim Clements.

The album ends with two fun-filled instrumental encores including Leroy Anderson’s Holiday favourite “Sleigh Ride” and Thomas Hewitt-Jones’s medley “A Christmas Cracker.” The album features a solo from violinist Thomas Gould and solos from renowned British/German violinist Jack Liebeck who also guest leads the VOCES8 Foundation Orchestra.


1. Joy to the World *
2. Away in a Manger *
3. Chilcott: The Sleeping Child *
4. O Come, All Ye Faithful *
5. Davis: Magnificat: I. Magnificat anima mea *
6. Davis: Magnificat: II. Shall I Rejoice *
7. Davis: Magnificat: III. Et misericordia *
8. Davis: Magnificat: IV. Deposuit *
9. Davis: Magnificat: V. Gloria Patri *
10. O Come, O Come Emmanuel *
11. Silent Night *
12. In Dulci Jubilo
13. Gabriel’s Message *
14. Hewitt Jones: A Christmas Cracker
15. Anderson: Sleigh Ride

*World premiere works & arrangements
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 10, 11 arranged by Taylor Scott Davis
Track 13 arranged by Jim Clements
Tracks 2 and 11 featuring Jack Liebeck (violin)

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