The New Oxford Book of Carols

Edited by: Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott   ISBN: 0-19-353322-7
Reviewed by Vince Treadway

If you are seeking a comprehensive collection of carols that includes much of the repertory in the English speaking world, medieval Latin song, fifteenth-century English carols, German Christmas chorales, Christmas hymns of the English “gallery” composers, and American shape-note carols, then The New Oxford Book of Carols, edited by Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, will be a worthy addition to your music library.

This delightful collection presents 201 different carols, some with variants and alternatives so you can make the most appropriate choice for performance or for researching a carol’s origins. Translations are also supplied for texts in languages other than English, and notes following each carol give pertinent history and performance suggestions based on the practices of the time. Carols from Czech, Polish, Provençal, French, Basque, Spanish, Neapolitan traditions, several appendices, a thorough bibliography,
and useful indexes complete this valuable source.