This anniversary double-CD contains some of the favourite pieces performed by the choir over the years. The music spans five centuries and many cultures. The first CD ranges widely over the Marionettes’ repertoire, while the second focuses on the music of Christmas, the season of the choir’s biggest annual production.
The selected performances reflect the cultural range of this versatile Caribbean-based choir. Alongside classic items by Handel, Bizet and Fauré is music from Africa, Israel Brazil and Venezuela. The texts are in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Shona, Hebrew, Latin and Trinidad English.
Some of the music is sung a cappella, some to the accompaniment of a simple keyboard, some with a full steel orchestra (the BP Renegades). The choir’s own orchestra is highly flexible, functioning as a symphonic ensemble and in various instrumental combinations, often with steelpan and African drums.
The Marionettes may be fifty years old, but they are providing for a long-term future: a youth chorale was added in 1995, and a children’s choir in 2012. All three choirs perform on this album, on their own and in combination. US-trained choral conductor Roger Henry became the Marionettes’ Assistant Musical Director in October 2012.
DISC 1 1 The holy city 2 Ose shalom 3 Here they come! (Carmen) 4 Cantique de Jean Racine 5 O fortuna (Carmina Burana) 6 Lord, I want to be a Christian 7 Down by the riverside 8 When you’re smiling (Children’s Choir) 9 This ol’ man (Children’s Choir) 10 I want Jesus to walk with me 11 When the saints go marching in (Male Chorus) 12 Wade in the water 13 One moment in time 14 Salguiero 15 Pan by storm 16 Morena osha 17 Sayamanda 18 The Ganges and the Nile 19 Battle hymn of the republic
DISC 2 1 Jingle bells 2 The very best time of year 3 Do you hear what I hear 4 Gesù bambino 5 For unto us a child is born 6 The Coventry carol 7 Silent night/O little town of Bethlehem 8 A adorar al niño 9 The friendly beasts (Ladies’ ensemble) 10 A cradle in Bethlehem 11 Child of God 12 The lion sleeps tonight 13 Uyai mose 14 Christmas medley (Scrunter) 15 Hallelujah (Messiah)