Once, As I Remember… (CD)

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Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner

‘Once As I Remember’ is John Eliot Gardiner’s recreation of the story of Christmas based on the Springhead Christmas Play. A nativity play made up of music, speech, dance and mime took place almost every Christmas in the Millroom at Springhead, home of the Gardiner family in Fontmell Magna, Dorset. The actors were school-children, farmers, farmhands and local craftsmen and women and teachers, supplemented, as the years went on, by young professional singers from London who came to celebrate the period between Christmas and New Year in Dorset. The play was the brain-child of Marabel Gardiner, who directed the mime, and her husband Rolf, who gave the readings which punctuated the music and action. Their three children, of whom John Eliot Gardiner is the youngest, all took part in one capacity or another.

Taking as its source almost exclusively music performed at those Christmas family and friend gatherings, the selection is amplified with music that Gardiner feels would have been a perfect fit for the time. The range is eclectic, the performances exquisite, and Gardiner writes the extensive and affectionate note that accompanies this release.

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  1. Gloria in excelsis Deo (Cowper)
  2. Ave Maria, gratia plena
  3. Angelus ad Virginem
  4. Alma Redemptoris Mater (Palestrina)
  5. Gabriel’s message
  6. Hodie Christus natus est (Bassano)
  7. Jolly Shepherd
  8. Hodie Christus natus est (Sweelinck)
  9. Past three a clock
  10. Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen
  11. There is no rose of such virtu
  12. Ave maris stella (Bárdos)
  13. A Spotless Rose (Howells)
  14. O magnum mysterium (Byrd)
  15. Ach Herr, Du Schöpfer (Schütz)
  16. This endris night
  17. Entre le boeuf
  18. Guillô, pran ton tamborin
  19. Psallite
  20. Quem vidistes pastores? (Dering)
  21. The Cradle
  22. Lullaby (Byrd)
  23. El Rorro
  24. Once as I remember
  25. The Lamb (Tavener)
  26. Joseph lieber, Joseph mein (Walther)
  27. Entry of the Three Kings (Gardner)
  28. The King of all Kings
  29. Ring out ye crystal spheres (Armstrong)
  30. Gloria in excelsis deo (Weelkes)

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Gloria in excelsis Deo (Cowper)

Ave Maria, gratia plena

Angelus ad Virginem

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Palestrina)

Gabriel’s message

Hodie Christus natus est (Bassano)

Jolly Shepherd

Hodie Christus natus est (Sweelinck)

Past three a clock

Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen

There is no rose of such virtu

Ave maris stella (Bárdos)

A Spotless Rose (Howells)

O magnum mysterium (Byrd)

Ach Herr, Du Schöpfer (Schütz)

This endris night

Entre le boeuf

Guillô, pran ton tamborin


Quem vidistes pastores? (Dering)

The Cradle

Lullaby (Byrd)

El Rorro

Once as I remember

The Lamb (Tavener)

Joseph lieber, Joseph mein (Walther)

Entry of the Three Kings (Gardner)

The King of all Kings

Ring out ye crystal spheres (Armstrong)

Gloria in excelsis deo (Weelkes)