"...The late Richard Hickox leads a beautiful performance of all three works. Indeed, his Fantasia on Christmas Carols I think the best I’ve heard. Sarah Fox is sweet-voiced in both On Christmas Night and The First Nowell. Roderick Williams (or maybe Simon Keenlyside) may well be my favorite baritone right now. He possesses a beautiful voice which he uses intelligently. His breath control seems to know no limit and allows him to phrase anywhere he wants and to subtly color his line. The choir and orchestra are thoroughly professional, but it’s the ensemble and the music that become the stars. Highly recommended."
On home ground here, Richard Hickox obtains excellent performances from his own City of London Sinfonia, the fresh-voiced Joyful Company of Singers, and two fine soloists, Good sound too.
BBC Music Magazine
Hickox makes an eloquent case for the score, which is handsomely played by the City of London Sinfonia. As for Vaughan Williams’s nativity play ‘The First Nowell’, it almost combines innocence and knowingness as any good Nativity play should.
International Record Review
An absolute joy for everyone
This is safe Richard Hickox territory and he obtains idiomatic and enjoyable performances. Splendid recorded sound.
Hickox is well supported throughout by the Soprano Sarah Fox, the Joyful Company of Singers and the orchestra he founded, the City of London Sinfonia. Special Praise must go to the mellifluous baritone soloist Roderick Williams, who has made some excellent recordings lately but none better than this. The Chandos sound is exemplary.
"There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with this enchanting disc, which contains some delightful rarities. OK, so there are the requisite number of carols, but nothing ever sounds hackneyed from Vaughan Williams. With glowing playing and singing under the baton of Richard Hickox, there’s plenty for the head as well as the Christmas hearth."
Love Vaughan Williams, and how wonderful to have an entire disc of classical Christmas music!!