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The Singer, cover from current issue

Subscriptions to The Singer are no longer available

The Singer has now been fully incorporated into Classical Music magazine, the fortnightly voice of the classical music profession, and is no longer a separate publication.

Classical Music will continue to cover all the topics and areas of interest to singers: there will be frequent focus sections on singers, choirs, ensembles, and supplements dedicated to the many aspects of classical music.

The last issue of The Singer was printed in the 28 January 2012 issue of Classical Music.

Click here to visit the Classical Music website.

Currently a subscriber to The Singer? You should have received a letter informing you of this change and letting you know what will happen to your subscription. If you have not received this, please call us on 01371 851892.

REVIEW: Carols for Choir 5, Ed. Blackwell/Chilcott

28 October 2011, Matthew Greenall

It is 50 years this Christmas since the first publication of Carols for Choirs by OUP. Few, if any, would question the importance of this publication in setting the agenda for Christmas services and carol concerts in the decades since. Its mix of traditional favourites, arrangements and new compositions – mostly sourced from the UK but encompassing Europe, America and beyond – has been the benchmark ever since. It is however, nearly a quarter century since the publication of the last book in the series, 100 Carols for Choirs, so this new volume is keenly anticipated.

Editors David Blackwell and Bob Chilcott clearly see little point in disrupting a successful formula, so the range and difficulty level of the contents will be familiar. Among the 50 items are simple congregational carols, including touching re-harmonisations of classics like Away in the Manger (Alan Bullard). There are some snazzy descants, which may not displace the best of Willcocks but are nice alternatives to have, and striking new versions of carols one had imagined done to death, such as Andrew Simpson’s engaging take on I saw three ships. If anything, the balance by comparison with Carols 1 to 4 seems to favour new composition, with a whole fresh roster of composers brought on board – there are outstanding pieces by Howard Skempton (Adam lay ybounden) and Gabriel Jackson (The Christ Child), among others. Links with past volumes are honoured however, and there are items new to the series from David Willcocks, Philip Ledger and John Rutter, whose lovely 2006 carol New Year is a mini-masterclass of fine writing in itself. Carols for Choirs 5 is a high quality publication that fully maintains the standards of this illustrious series. Not everyone will like the spiral binding, but if you don’t, go out and buy the paperback version instead.

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