Carnival Films, producers of Downton Abbey, together with Warner Bros. Records today confirm the release of Christmas at Downton Abbey, an official collection of festive hymns and classic carols evoking a simpler time, from the much loved, award-winning television series.
The 45-track double CD includes seven exclusive recordings by members of the cast. Elizabeth McGovern who plays the Countess of Grantham sings ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ and performs a duet of ‘The First Noel’ with fellow co-star Julian Ovenden who plays Charles Blake.
Fans may already know that when not playing the part of Cora, Elizabeth performs regularly with her acclaimed folk band Sadie and the Hotheads. Earlier this year they played a special gig at Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey is filmed), to mark the 100 year anniversary of the First World War.
Elizabeth said: “It was so exciting for me to have been given the opportunity to sing two songs in a totally different context to that which I’m accustomed. Without my guitar, without my band! And I didn’t write them! But thank heaven for the extraordinary talent and expertise of Julian Ovenden, The Budapest City Orchestra & The Budapest Choral Voices, Kipper Eldridge, Nick Patrick and the Warner Brothers production team. I’m very proud to be a part of this album.”
Julian Ovenden, also a professional singer and musical performer in his own right, delivers a solo rendition of ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Sussex Carol’ and ‘Silent Night’. He also performs the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ as a duet up-an-coming classical singer Katie Marshall.
Julian said: “I’m a huge music fan and like Elizabeth I have a separate music career that runs alongside the acting. To do this album is therefore a massive honour and something I’ve really enjoyed doing.
Mr. Carson (played by Jim Carter) delivers a spoken word piece. His rendition of the Christmas poem‘T’was The Night Before Christmas’ is captivating and evocative.
For an extra Downton touch composer John Lunn, who wrote the Downton Abbey Theme Song, has penned a new & exclusive extended seasonal suite version of the Downton Abbey Theme music and Part 1 & Part 2 open each disc. This has been exclusively recorded by The Budapest City Orchestra and The Budapest Choral Voices.
The rest of the album is made up 36 classic Christmas carols from the huge Warner Music classics’ archive, including ‘Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,’ ‘Good King Wenceslas,’ the Choir Of Kings College,
Cambridge ‘In The Bleak Midwinter,’ ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,’ ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,’ Alexander Lazarev ‘March from The Nutcraker Suite’ and many more.
Christmas at Downton Abbey is available to pre-order now and will be released on November 10th. The album is also going be available internationally via Warner Music Group affiliates in Downton Abbey key markets. Click here to pre-order.
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1. The Budapest City Orchestra and The Budapest Choral Voices – The Downton Christmas Suite
2. Julian Ovenden – O Holy Night
3. Elizabeth McGovern – It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
4. Elizabeth McGovern & Julian Ovenden – The First Noel
5. Julian Ovenden – The Sussex Carol
6. Julian Ovenden & Katie Marshall -12 Days Of Christmas
7. Julian Ovenden – Slient Night
8. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – We Wish You A Merry Christmas
9. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – In The Bleak Midwinter
10. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Oh, Little Town Of Bethlehem
11. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Once In Royal Davids City
12. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
13. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
14. William Christie – Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noel, Kyrie
15. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Ding Dong! Merrily On High
16. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Good King Wenceslas
17. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – While Shepherds Watched
18. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Away in a manger
19. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – In Dulci Jubilo
20. Libera – Panis Angelicus
21. Il Giardino Armonico – Christmas Concerto 1st Movement, Vivaldi
22. Alexander Lazarev – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcraker Suite
23. Jim Carter – Twas The Night Before Christmas
1. The Budapest City Orchestra and The Budapest Choral Voices – The Downton Christmas Suite Pt.2
2. Joel Cohen – Joy To The World
3. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen
4. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Angels, From The Realms Of Glory
5. Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Handel Messiah Hallelujah Chorus
6. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – The Holly and the Ivy
7. Thomas Hampson – Go, Tell It On The Mountain
8. Alexander Lazarev – March from The Nutcraker Suite
9. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Tannenbaum
10. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – I Saw Three Ships
11. Carleton Etherington & Benjamin Nicholas – When Christ Was Born Of Mary Free
12. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – Adam Lay Ybounden
13. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – The First Nowell
14. Andrew Parrot, Taverner Choir & Taverner Consort – We Three Kings Of Orient Are
15. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
16. Ralph Allwood, Rodolfus Choir & Sam Jenkins – I Sing The Birth
17. William Christie – Noels sur les Instruments
18. Joel Cohen – Nouvelles, Nouvelles
19. Joel Cohen – Chantons Noel, Menons Joyeuse Vie
20. Choir Of Kings College, Cambridge – The Three Kings
21. Nikolaus Harnoncourt – O Thou Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
22. Claudio Scimone – Christmas Concerto 3rd Movement, Corelli
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