A Medieval Christmas
Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata
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||Isaiah's Prophecy / The Sybil's Prophecy (Iudicii signum)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||1:46||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Conductus (Adest sponsus)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||1:36||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Gabriel's Prophecy (Oiet, virgines)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||4:54||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Clausula (Domino)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||2:18||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Hymn (Conditor alme siderum) / Lauda (Verbum caro factum est)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||2:51||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Reading (On frymae was word) / Organum (Iudea et Iherusalem)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||9:49||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Conductus (Gedeonis area)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||2:49||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Reading (O moder mayde)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||1:25||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Hymn (Ave maris stella) / Sacred Song (O maria, deu maire)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||3:57||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Prosa (Ave Maria)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||3:11||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Responsory (Gaude Maria) / Hymn (Joseph, liber nefe min)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||2:36||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Conductus with Refrain (Congaudet hodie/In dulci iubilo) / Hymn (In dulci iubilo)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||5:00||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Reading (Hand by hand we shule us take)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||0:36||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Conductus (Lux hodie... Orientis partibus)||Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata||2:59||$0.99||View in iTunes|
Boston Camerata's Medieval Christmas is a challenging and resfreshing holiday album. Usually, when traditional or olde carols are performed, they are contemporized in some way. That's not the case with Medieval Christmas. Everything is given faithful arrangements and is performed faithfully. It's music that is strangely familiar and strangely foreign at the same time. The end result is an enchanting, entirely original holiday album worth investigating by any listener tired of the same-old same-old.
Spirit of Christmas Past
The well-chosen selections on this album fit together very well, though they are from various parts of Europe. The Boston Camerata makes them all work together in the spirit of the season, and the result makes for fulfilling listening - especially if one is in a contemplative mood. This is music (and some pertinent readings as well) with its origins in an ancient time, but these latter-day reconstructions can hold much interest for the modern listener willing to slow down enough to pay attention. The warmth and spirit of this music still come through. If you're looking for catchy carols for rosy-cheeked children to sing along with as you shop for that perfect artificial tree, you won't find them here. But if you want a well-played, moving exploration of ancient expressions of Christmas - or even if you just want some Christmas music that differs from the usual fare - you can't go wrong with this album.
A wonder and a marvel
Long time fan of the Boston Camarata, I had this album on vinyl back in the day, The digitial renditon is fantastic; the interpretation of the music is exquisite; use of period instruments also adds greatly to the effectiveness; the selection is perfect; the recording suffers some from periods of different loudness among the different tracks, so at times it is hard to hear the music well without adjusting the volume. A minor problem that does little to detract from the excellence of the performances.
How Would Chaucer Have Celebrated?
The Boston Camerata and Joel Cohen have created the experience of attending a medieval Christmas. If you're not a history buff, you still might enjoy the unusual experience. If you're Christian, you might enjoy listening to what the celebration sounded like over half a century ago. If you're into history or linguistics, it's just plain cool. Good stuff.
Born: May 23, 1943
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s