Manor House String Quartet

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MANOR HOUSE STRING QUARTET - It Came Upon The Midnight Clear - 885767644571 - Released: September 2011 - Manor House Music 003

Last year's I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols was such a pleasant Christmas gift to all chamber music fans, that the Manor House String Quartet with Vaughan Jones (Violin), Louise Bevan (Violin), Adrian Smith (Viola) and Julia Graham (Cello), decided to repeat the gesture this year with the release of their latest CD titled It Came Upon The Midnight Clear. Another extensive collection of familiar Christmas songs and carols all presented in expertly arranged settings for string quartet.

More of a layman's Christmas this time around, the selections include pieces like Rocking Carol, Past Three O'Clock, Jingle Bells, Carol of the Bells, NoŽl Nouvelet and 18 other yuletide favorites. And as in last year's CD, some are played as if by fiddlers gathered around the Christmas tree, whilst others are performed with the serious devotion of a Beethoven quartet.

If you're looking for something different from the traditional choral Christmas music for a change, but don't want to stray too far away from the classical music sound, this new recording may well be your cup of tea. Tasteful, heartfelt interpretations of Christmas standards all wrapped up in professional arrangements original enough to make them sound fresh again.

Jean-Yves Duperron - November 2011