Friday, November 28, 2014

Music Review – Christmas in Harvard Square



This Thanksgiving weekend I have been listening to the dulcet and ethereal soprano voices of the Boys of St. Paul’s Choir School on their new album, Christmas in Harvard Square. The only Catholic choir school for boys of its kind in the United States, the Boys of St. Paul’s Choir School, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its school, which coincides with the Nativity of Christ.  The choir, which has performed at Carnegie Hall and in St. Peter’s Square at a papal audience with Pope Francis, has been under the direction of John Robinson, who hails from the U.K. and came up in the boys choir schools in Cambridge, U.K.

The 19-track album, which runs 61: 04 minutes, contains both traditional and contemporary arrangements, including some original arrangements by John Robinson, director of music and at the Choir School and the parish of St. Paul. The album features such traditional favorites as: O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, In the Bleak of Midwinter, and Angels We Have Heard, which are all brilliantly performed. I particularly enjoyed Ding Dong Merrily on High, which is a very spirited song, emanating exceptional joy. A Maiden Most Gentle is a beautiful song which conveys ardent devotion for the Mother of God. In fact, there are number of hymns dedicated to the Blessed Mother. For those who enjoy Latin hymns, the album includes: O Magnum Mysterium, Omnes De Saba Venient, Puer Natus Est, and Dominus Dixit.

Overall, I found this album to be very beautiful, inspirational, and spiritual uplifting. I have never heard a Catholic boys’ choir sing in such an accomplished manner before and was very impressed with the outstanding voices of this choir. To say they are great is truly an understatement.  This is a Christmas album I highly recommend for all music lovers.

The album is now available via AimHigher Recordings -- the sister label of De Montfort Music.

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