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What Sweeter Music: Carols for the Year Round
(Audio CD)
John Ayer directs the Memphis Boychoir and Memphis Chamber Choir

The debut CD of the Memphis Boychoir & Memphis Chamber Choir, led by founding Musical Director John Ayer.  One of the most highly praised of American choral CDs made in the Anglican choral tradition of its time.

Issued only as CD.
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Product Description


Format: Digital Audio CD
Catalog Number:  CD 7031
Length: 63′ 41″
Tracks:  22
Organ: Reuter
Venue: St. John’s Episcopal Church, Memphis, Tennessee USA
Recorded: 04/25/1991
Released: 12/01/1991
Producer: Frederick Hohman
Notes Author: John Ayer
Notes Language: English
Graphics Format: 16pp book, traycard, jewel box
UPC #: 636077703126

Laser Disc Gazette One would not think of Memphis as home to one of the better boy choirs in the world, but that is exactly what it has proven to be…. – Rad Bennett

Organists’ Review I have really enjoyed listening to these fine choirs. The boys are beautifully trained and make a well-blended, warm but characterful sound, recorded in a pleasantly resonant acoustic. The programme provides plenty of interest, both in sensitive performances of familiar carols and also in introducing the listener to some recent American repertoire.

The American Organist
The two choirs, founded by Mr. Ayer in 1988, sing together with precision of ensemble and beauty of sonority, and the organ playing of Diane Meredith Belcher is excellent. … This release is recommended to all who love choral music.

The American Record Guide The Memphis Chamber Choir and Boychoir were founded in 1988 by the director of this disc, John Ayer. That fact alone speaks volumes for the talents of Ayer, as he has managed to fashion choirs that can sing in tune whether accompanied or a cappella and listen to each other to bring out the most subtle of harmonies. They also sing very musically – something that many more renowned and widely publicized choirs would do well to emulate. … The Boychoir manages to sound like a host of angels in such songs as the Manger Carol. Ayer always makes sure that inner voices can be heard clearly – not often the case with bigger choirs or more prestigious conductors. … I sincerely hope that Ayers and his talented choirs will record more. – Reynolds

The Diapason
Listening to What Sweeter Music was a sheer delight from every point of view. … The choirs are impeccable and how fortunate the Memphis boys are to have this professional training and experience at so early an age. … And how admirable it is that John Ayer can achieve this standard without the benefit of a resident choir school. … I commend this recording as a fine repertoire of choral music and as a standard of performance from which we can all learn a great deal. – Alec Wyton

01 • What Sweeter Music • John Rutter • 5’7″
02 • Wassail Carol • William Mathias • 2′
03 • A Hymn to the Virgin • Benjamin Britten • 3’55”
04 • I Saw Three Ships • arr. Simon Preston • 1’48”
05 • Sans Day Carol • arr. John Rutter • 3’13”
06 • Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (organ) • arr. John David Peterson • 1’39”
07 • Infant Holy, Infant Lowly • arr. Gerre Hancock • 3’6″
08 • Lullay, my liking • Gustav Holst • 3’48”
09 • Unto Us Is Born A Son • arr. David Willcocks • 2’1″
10 • Manger Carol • arr. Leo Sowerby • 4’39”
11 • Twas in the Moon of Wintertime (organ) • arr. John David Peterson • 2’7″
12 • A New Year Carol • Don Freund • 2’7″
13 • Here is the Little Door • Herbert Howells • 3’38”
14 • Sussex Mummers’ Carol • arr. Lucy Broadwood and Ralph Vaughan Williams • 2’36”
15 • This Joyful Eastertide • arr. Charles Wood • 2’53”
16 • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (organ) • arr. John Ayer • 4’48”
17 • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling • arr. John Ayer • 2’21”
18 • Let Us Run the Good Race • Jack Abell and Ruth Stamm • 1’59”
19 • Maria Wanders Through the Thorn • arr. Shirley W. McRae • 3’38”
20 • E’en so, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come • Paul Manz • 2’20”
21 • Advent Carol • Bruce R. Smedley • 1’48”
22 • What Sweeter Music – reprise • John Rutter • 1’12”

Memphis Boychoir and Memphis Chamber Choir
Founded in 1988, the MEMPHIS BOYCHOIR is a non-denominational, non-sectarian ­ensemble, whose purpose is to develop a variety of musical and leadership skills among boys in the greater Memphis community, and to provide a performing outlet for talented young singers. Learn more…

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