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Anonymous 4
WOLCUM YULE: CELTIC AND BRITISH SONGS AND CAROLS
(Harmonia Mundi)
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Anyonymous 4, mediæval musicís most successful vocal ensemble, present a program that transcends their usual repertoire, ranging from traditional carols from the British Isles like "Good People All" and "I Saw Three Ships" to new pieces like Geoffrey Burgonís "A God, and Yet a Man?" and Peter Maxwell Daviesís "A Calendar of Kings," both of which get their first recordings here. The four women sing everything with their now familiar pure tone and supple, articulate phrasing, making even the most familiar carols like "The Holly and the Ivy" unexpectedly moving and uplifting. And they devote as much care and musical craftsmanship to the simplest pieces as they do to John Tavenerís expressive and dissonant "The Lamb." Andrew Lawrence-King supplies discreet accompaniment, as well as a few solos, on a variety of harps. Anonymous 4 are said to be winding down their activities; if so, Wolcum Yule is a fitting swan song as well as a great soundtrack to the season.

BY DAVID WEININGER


Issue Date: December 5 - 11, 2003
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