"...astonising and often exhilarating...The album should be of interest to any fan of early music, and to anyone looking for Christmas music that reaches beyond the standard carols."
-- Stephen Eddins, allmusic.com
A festive collection of Latin chants, English carols, and instrumental selections in the spirit of the season. "A Medieval Christmas" is newly remastered, with four new tracks and released in conjunction with Folger Consort’s 2007 production of The Second Shepherds’ Play. Featuring musicians: Robert Eisenstein, Christopher Kendall, Scott Reiss, Johana Arnold, Tina Chancy, Julianne Baird, Michael Collver Peggy Marie Haas, William Sharp, and Frederick Urrey.
Folger Consort’s 2007 production of The Second Shepherds’ Play, an engaging and charming English mystery play rooted in a wonderful folk tradition, inspired us to look back at our previous recordings of holiday music. Much of the music here is included in our production of this extraordinary theatrical gem. This re-release of our 1991 recording, A Medieval Christmas, also includes four additional selections from an even earlier release – Sing Heigh, Ho! Unto the Green Holly from 1985. These bonus tracks, recorded in concert in the Great Hall of the Folger Shakespeare Library with an outstanding array of vocalists and instrumentalists, have been re-mastered to blend seamlessly with both the Latin pieces that begin the CD and the English carols that end it. All of these selections show a great variety of musical styles, learned and rustic, complex and engagingly simple; yet they have the telling of the Christmas story in common. We have rounded out the recording with a few instrumental selections that fit the spirit of the season. We hope you enjoy our journey back to Christmases past - Robert Eisenstein
A leading early music ensemble, in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library for over 30 years, Folger Consort presents music from the 12th through 21st centuries, with a focus on the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Artistic Directors Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall are joined by wonderful guest artists, including the world’s leading vocalists and instrumentalists in the field of early music at the Folger and other venues. With twelve recordings commercially available, Folger Consort continues to add to the interest in and knowledge of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. Visit www.folger.edu/consort for more on Folger Consort.
Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-class center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for research material from the early modern period (1500–1750), Folger Shakespeare Library is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs.
Michael Witmore, Director, Folger Shakespeare Library
Janet Griffin, Executive Producer, Folger Consort
Donnajean Ward, Manager, Folger Consort
Curt Wittig, Recording and editing engineer
Jeanne Krohn, Graphic Design
Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St., SE,
Washington, DC 20003, 202.544.707, www.folger.edu