The Telling

Lullaby My Child (Arr. The Telling)
Es kommt ein Schiff, geladen (Arr. The Telling)
Bach, J S: O Jesulein süß, BWV 493 (Arr. The Telling)
Christmas Eve (Arr. The Telling)
Gabreil fram Evene King (Arr. The Telling)
Gruber, F: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, H. 145 (Arr. The Telling)
Lullay, lullay, als I Lay on Yoolis Night (Arr. The Telling)
El Noi de la Mare (Arr. The Telling)
Maria Durch ein Dornwald ging (Arr. The Telling)
Maa on niin kaunis (Arr. The Telling)
Verbum Caro Factum Est de Virgine (Arr. The Telling)
Coventry Carol (Arr. The Telling)
Heinillä härkien kaukalon (Arr. The Telling)
Monnoye: Patapan (Arr. The Telling)
As I Lay upon a Night (Arr. The Telling)
Nowell, Nowell (Arr. The Telling)

The Secret Life of Carols brings together a mixture of the earliest medieval English carols and traditional carols from across Europe performed by medieval music ensemble, The Telling. 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.

In the Middle Ages the term “carol” didn’t have the same meaning as today. It was merely an indication of the form of the piece which would start and end with a chorus (named a burden) and would be interspersed with verses which told the story. The word carol is derived from the Old French word carole, a circle dance accompanied by singers.

The programme on this album includes a selection of traditional carols from across Europe. Many, like the Burgundian carol Patapan, have roots going back centuries, some as far back as the Middle Ages. There is also a personal dimension to the choice of carols, drawing on three of the roots fo the performers on the album ie Finnish, German and Irish roots (Kaisa Pulkkinen, Ariane Pressner and Jean Kelly respectively) to include several carols which are not well known in the UK.

The Telling has a growing reputation for creating intimate, staged concerts to bring early and medieval music off the page and reach wider audiences. They create a different concert experience, combining ancient song, ballads and upbeat instrumental dances with new writing, narrative, readings or film. They sometimes perform moving around the audience, using lighting and/or candlelight.

The Telling’s album, Gardens of Delight, was released on First Hand Records in 2018:

’...beguiling, Siren-like voices... the fervent, florid chants of Hildegard of Bingen - so fragrant you can almost smell them.... There is an ardour to these performances that is hard to resist.’ - BBC Music Magazine