THE TELLING The Secret Life of Carols – 800 Years of Christmas Music

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The Secret Life of Carols brings together a mixture of the earliest medieval English carols and traditional carols from across Europe. The title is inspired by the fact that many carols have intertwined roots, dating back centuries, often to the Middle Ages, with melodies being adapted and reinvented, and new sets of words written.

‘Marvellous album’ (Classic FM Radio)
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Physical CD no longer available from this website.
Digital version (streaming/downloads) fully available on all the usual platforms.

The Telling
‘The Secret Life of Carols’

The Telling:
Clare Norburn
Ariane Prüssner voice & frame drum
Kaisa Pulkkinen medieval harp & baroque harp
Jean Kelly medieval harp & celtic harp

1 Lullay, my child
2 Es kommt ein Schiff, geladen
3 O Jesulein süß, BWV 493
4 Christmas Eve (Tommy Coen’s reel)
5 Gabriel fram evene king
6 Stille Nacht
7 Lullay, lullay, als I lay on Yoolis Nicht
8 El Noi de la Mare
9 Maria durch ein’ Dornwald ging
10 Maa on niin kaunis
11 Verbum Caro Factum Est
12 Coventry Carol
13 Heinillä härkien kaukalon
14 Patapan
15 As I lay upon a night
16 Nowell, nowell (Salutation Carol)

Press Quotes

“…performed by the Telling, is an atmospheric survey from across Europe, with roots in early English, Irish, German and Finnish traditions, performed by two voices, harps and drum.”  (The Guardian)

Best Classical Christmas Albums 2019 (The Guardian)

“Soprano Clare Norburn and mezzo Ariane Prussner are the crystalline singers… the overall effect is aurally cleansing, and the recorded sound is outstanding.” (**** BBC Music Magazine) 

Best of Christmas 2019 (BBC Music Magazine)

*The best Christmas classical music recordings of 2019 – Our definitive list of the very best new Christmas music released this year
“An unusual success, something I wasn’t expecting, and which is a great success… Marvellous album…. I’m going to play them together to give you an idea of what joy there is on this excellent and of left field most enjoyable album… there are moments when you just want something that is scaled-down for domestic listening and that is an excellent, excellent one [album]” (Classic FM Radio, David Mellor)
*One of David Mellor’s three best Christmas albums of the year!

A must for those interested in the history of carols, and a disc full of evocative performances.” (Planet Hugill)

“This production reposits a more resolutely folk approach to the singing of carols, enthused with vitality and rhythm” (Lark Reviews)

“smallscale, intimate performances of a wide range of music, most of it unfamiliar or, at any rate, not pumped out over supermarket PA systems. As I write, I’ve just been subjected to a dose of that, courtesy of a pop radio station as I waited in my podiatrist’s waiting room; listening to The Telling has been a real antidote.” (MusicWeb International)

“A most welcome alternative to the usual Christmas recordings” (American Record Guide)

More of The Telling on FHR:

THE TELLING Gardens of Delight