CD Review: “Sing We Now of Christmas”

Imagine a wintry day in the Christmas season. Inside a pub, Irish and Scottish traditional musicians regale locals and travelers alike with their playing. In wander carolers, seeking shelter from the snow, but hardly in the mood to stop their evening s music-making. Soon, caroling from the choir mixes with the instrumental riffs of the traditional musicians, and the warmth from their collaboration literally chases the cold winter away. This scene is created annually in Charleston, SC in the Taylor Music Group s Celtic Christmas presentations and it is brought into the listener s living room with this recording.

The making of this CD represents years of dreaming with my wife Mary of a Christmas recording that reflects the musical universe we are lucky enough to inhabit every Holiday season. It brings together the worlds of classical and Celtic music in a fashion that may seem to be a dichotomy to some, but is perfectly natural to those of us that live with both art music and folk music on a daily basis. We have drawn inspiration from so many including composer/song collectors Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst; the Baltimore Consort, Ensemble Galilei, and Yo Yo Ma; our friend Steve Rosenberg, and above all, my deceased father Bob Taylor, the namesake for the Taylor Festival Choir. Of course, the instrumentalists on this CD have been heroes for years, many of whom we met originally at the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC, and subsequently brought to Charleston to teach in our annual summer festival. It s hard to express the high that was generated in the recording sessions and even the rehearsals.

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