The Bottom Line
For me, new recordings often take a couple of listenings before the music really takes root and begins to make sense. However, Andrew T. Miller's The Birth of Christ had me in its opening minutes. Its sound is far more tonal than a lot of 20th century works I come across. The recording itself is surprisingly without distraction, as the performance was recorded live. The soloists sound amazing, the choir was balanced and well rehearsed, and though Liam Neeson is no Patrick Stewart, his narration was articulate (but slightly mechanical).
- Fantastic performances by soloists, choir, and instrumentalists
- Great live recording
- Music is beautifully written, invigorating, and inspiring
- They didn't include the libretto in the cover notes
- Released - November 2007
- 1 Disk, 13 Tracks
- Total Play Time - 60:12
Guide Review - The Birth of Christ
Andrew T. Miller's The Birth of Christ
was recorded live in Ireland. His historic premier joined together two choirs of different faiths, one Catholic and one Protestant, under one roof to sing about the central core of their faith. The Birth of Christ
is a wonderful composition full of mystery and awe. Miller's melodic lines and harmonies are to the ears as milk and honey are to the soul. Miller captures the magnitude of Jesus' birth within the musical lines while maintaining the suppleness of the small babe.
The soloists Amy Bils (soprano), Kelley O'Connor (mezzo-soprano), Robert McPherson (tenor), John B. Coopoer (baritone), Robin Tritschler (tenor), and Owen Gilhooly (baritone) sing with warmth and beauty, and their voices are clear and bright. Amy Bils in particular arrestingly performs "Mary's Canticle."
I would like to see this work live, as long as it's rehearsed and well put together as this recording's live performance. I would also like to see it become a staple of Christmastime traditions. Andrew T. Miller's The Birth of Christ is that good.