By Singknaben der St. Ursenkathedrale Solothurn. By Eric William Barnum, Franz Xaver Gruber, Giovanni Gabrieli, Gustaf Nordqvist, Herbert Howells, Ivo Antognini, Johann Walter, Michael Pretorius, Ola Gjeilo, Ruggero Giovannelli, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Classical. CD. Naxos #ROP6134. Published by Naxos (NX.ROP6134).
The Singknaben of the Cathedral of St. Ursus in Solothurn are the oldest boys' choir in Switzerland. With Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal they bridge the gap between the Middle Ages and modern times by skillfully blending carols and motets of the old masters together with those of contemporary composers. Take for example Michael Praetorius' (1571-1621) beautiful setting of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, which is juxtaposed against a new arrangement by Paul Mealor (b. 1975). Early music in a new guise can also be found in Gaudate, Christus est natus and O Heiland,reiss die Himmel auf as well as in the medieval hymn Ave Maris Stella, which Ivo Antognini (b. 1963) specifically reset to music for the choir. With the CD, the Singknaben, under the direction of Andreas Reize, string together a row of musical gems from different centuries that are all related to each other and together provide a comprehensive overview of Christmas traditions over the centuries.