The Organ

Christmas List 2003: GABRIEL'S GREETING

Vivien Ellis and Jocelyn West: vocals
Stevie Wishart: fiddle, vocals, sinfonye
Jim Denley: percussion
Paula Chateauneuf: lute


Re-released on Hyperion's budget label Helios comes this festive incantation of medieval English carols and other yuletide music from Stevie Wishart's talented interpreter's Sinfonye. Centred on music delivering the archangel Gabriel's message of the coming of Christ, Sinfonye take us on a fascinating voyage around raw yet convincing recreations full of the spiritual meaning of Christmas drawn by our forefathers - and mothers, of course. The famous fifteenth century carol Ther is no rose of swych virtu is given two beautifully rendered versions, the first sung in old English by Vivien Ellis, the second finding a simple realisation for lute, deliciously played by Paula Chateauneuf.

At budget price this exploration of rarely performed medieval yuletide fayre is a wonderful introduction to those not initiated into early music, sharing a certain 'new age' quality it will appeal to all who enjoy music that is off the beaten track0.