Noël Nouvelet – Church Music Quarterly
A uniquely fresh mix of new and favourite Christmas carols proclaims the front of the CD booklet. The singing certainly has the freshness and clarity that one associates with this fine choir and unique elements are provided by such tracks as Naji Hakim’s virtuosic arrangement of Ding Dong! merrily on high; Malcom Sargent’s Hawaiian Lullaby (you’ll either love it or hate it – just remember that Christmas is a time for having fun!); and Ward Swingle’s arrangement of Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire).
The stylistic breadth of the Vasari Singers is dazzlingly demonstrated on this recording. They are equally at home in the dreamy-cheesy Hawaiian lullaby; the tongue-in-cheek knockabout of Andrew Carter’s arrangement of The Twelve days of Christmas, the wholesome muscularity of Mendelssohn’s Frohlokket ihr Volker, the bitter-sweetness of Leighton’s Coventry carol; the haunting chill of Judith Wier’s Illuminare, Jerusalem, and the ecstatic mysticism of Morten Lauridsen’s O magnum mysterium.
Church Music Quarterly