A captivating and unusual holiday disc mixes classic Shaw/Parker choral arrangements with ravishing carols by outstanding British and American composers.
In 1995, Telarc released Songs of Angels (CD-80377), a recording of Christmas hymns and carols in arrangements by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker for a cappella voices. Angels on High features the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, a chorus of 46 singers, conducted by Shaw in a program of holiday music ranging from Benjamin Britten’s well-loved Ceremony of Carols to contemporary pieces by American composers Randall Thompson and Morten Lauridsen.
Included on the disc are Thompson’s ethereal "Alleluia;" "Sing Lullaby" by Herbert Howells; Lauridsen’s "O Magnum Mysterium;" and Healey Willan’s "What Is This Lovely Fragrance?" Harpist Elisabeth Remy, principal harpist with the Atlanta Symphony is featured in the Britten. Organist Norman Mackenzie is also featured in a solo performance of Brahms’ delicate organ arrangement of "Lo, How a Rose."