John Turner – Christmas Card Carols


Catalogue No: DDA 25161
EAN/UPC: 809730516122
Artists: , , ,
Release Date: October 2017
Genres: ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 56:44

For over twenty years, Britain’s foremost recorder player, John Turner, has composed a carol and sent the score as his Christmas Card. Until now just a personal gift to his friends, John was persuaded to record a selection, which has led to this beautiful album.

Presented by the chamber choir Intimate Voices and featuring sopranos Sasha Johnson Manning, Eleanor Gregory and Philippa Hyde in solo and duet pieces, with obbligato harp and oboe in some, this is a lovely mixed program of Nativity carols, composed very much in traditional style, in new settings of ancient texts.

John Turner is a fine composer but is chiefly known as a recorder player and champion of contemporary composers, with dozens of recordings to his credit, many from Divine Art and Métier.

Track Listing

John Turner (b.1944):

  1. A Nativity Carol
  2. A Song on the Birth of Christ
  3. A Flemish Carol
  4. Adam Lay Ybounden
  5. I sing of a Maiden (version 1)
  6. Christmas Lullaby
  7. Candle Vesper
  8. Invocation to Sleep
  9. Susanni
  10. Lullay, my Liking (version 1)
  11. The Virgin’s Cradle Hymn
  12. Away in a Manger
  13. Gloria Carol
  14. Rocking Hymn
  15. I sing of a Maiden (version 2)
  16. The Rose
  17. Lullay, my Liking (version 2)
  18. Rocking Carol
  19. Canzonetta
  20. Watts’ Cradle Song
  21. The Garden of Jesus
  22. Christmas Music
  23. Make we Merry



The writing is very accessible and tonal, though occasionally he toys with the harmonies enough to remind you that he is, in fact, a contemporary composer. Turner has composed delicate and attractive music that is tuneful and that has the appropriate holiday glow about it. The performances are exquisitely lovely and the recorded sound is perfectly balanced, warm and natural… one of the holiday season’s nicest releases.

” —Henry Fogel
Planet Hugill

Turner’s style is tonal but interesting, lyrical with harmonic twists. He has a very personal style, and successfully avoids direct influence from the more major contemporary carol writers. A disc worth exploring.

” —Robert Hugill
Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

The music has a bit of contemporary harmonic spice to liven up our holiday listening punch. Yet the music remains strikingly in the carol tradition. Anyone of Classical choral bent will find this album refreshing and substantial. Warmly recommended as a beautifully performed set of brand new yet ageless carols!

” —Grego Edwards
The Chronicle

This has got to be one of the coolest things… by definition [the carols] are all short and definitely sweet. It’s like having high-quality carol singers round your house. It’s a delightful and atmospheric programme of Christmas music.

” —Jeremy Condliffe

Neat, undemonstrative and individual little carols that totally surpass their ‘closed circle’ origins.

” —Andrew Mellor
British Music Society

These works are very much in the English choral tradition and will provide a welcome alternative to the market cornered by the often overly sentimental works by John Rutter. Mr Turner’s take on well-known carols are fresh and interesting in their own right. This is a most lovely disc and a most welcome addition to the Christmas market and one that would grace anyone’s household over the festive season.

” —Paul R SW Jackson
CD Hotlist

Turner’s writing is tonal and accessible, but often nudges the boundaries of traditional harmony in gently intriguing ways. If you’re in the market for Christmas music and want something that departs delightfully from the norm, this album would make an excellent choice.

” —Rick Anderson
MusicWeb International

Those listeners who have been privileged to receive one of John Turner’s ‘Christmas Card Carols’ will find this new CD a delightful surprise. These imaginative carols are beautifully sung (and played). The purity of the vocal line is both astounding and moving.Turner’s musical style has captured the magic of the Season. He is a legend in his own lifetime… all these carols are lovely and sum up the joy of the Christmas-Tide.

” —John France