- Released: October 14, 2003
- Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
This offbeat disc of seasonal songs and carols by the Anonymous 4 will delight their fans and please everyone else. The 19 selections include traditional folk melodies and texts, some of which date back to the Middle Ages, interspersed with fitting selections by contemporary composers including John Taverner, Benjamin Britten, and Peter Maxwell Davies, whose ethereal a cappella A Calender of Kings gets its first recording. Andrew Lawrence-King, playing Irish harp, Baroque harp, and psaltery with his accustomed finesse, is a major reason for the disc's success, accompanying most of the vocals and contributing three lovely solos. The disc is crammed with highlight tracks, like the lilting Cornish Wassail song and the Irish Good people all, and haunting numbers like "Flight into Egypt," sung in Gaelic, and "Behold, here is the best morning," sung in Welsh. Excellent sonics and Harmonia Mundi's typically fine production values also help make this a Christmas disc that will give joy in July. --Dan Davis