During the years 1968-1983, Fred Swann was director of music at the Riverside Church, New York City, where he had been appointed organist in 1957 with Virgil Fox. New York experienced its golden age of church music during Frederick Swann's tenure at Riverside, where the program was large and distinguished. During October through May, the choir rehearsed two nights a week and Sunday afternoons before oratorio performances. In addition to Sunday morning services, which included a minimum of two anthems plus sung liturgy and responses, the choir performed a major choral work on three Sunday afternoons of each month.

On this special, 3-CD set, Frederick Swann conducts all of the performances and plays the organ, conducting from the console, for most of them. Other organists include John C. Walker, Robert MacDonald, and Jerry Brainard. The Festival of Lessons and Carols is conducted in the manner of King's College, Cambridge, and the recording includes the basic elements of the service as it was conducted at Riverside 1966-82.

The CD booklet includes the texts, notes on music at Riverside and Frederick Swann's tenure there, a list of important music programs in New York ca. 1950-1983.

Festival of Lessons and Carols
Once in Royal David's City
Up! Good Christian, arr. Woodward
The Lord at first, arr. Willcocks
The Holly & the Ivy, arr. Rutter
Unto us is born a Son, arr. Willcocks
Jesus Child, arr. Rutter
The Hunter, arr. Brahms
Mary's Lullaby, arr. Rutter
What is this fragrance, arr. Huston
Come, Marie, Elisabette, arr. Dickinson
O come, all ye faithful
To Bethlehem, arr. Williams

Hark! The herald angels sing
Puer natus, arr. Hoddinott
Torches, arr. Matthews
Hush, my dear, arr. Slater
Lo, the Messiah, arr. Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Mary had a baby, arr. Dawson
Shepherds, Shake off, arr. MacDonald
Saw you never, arr. Friedell
Noel we sing: Daquin
O little town of Bethlehem
Star carol: Rutter
Love Came Down at Christmas: Sowerby
Joy to the World

Praise to the Lord
The Lord's my shepherd
Ye holy angels bright
Fairest Lord Jesus
Praise the Lord! Ye heavens
Our God, our help
God that madest earth and heaven
Form all that dwell

My song shall be alway: Sampson
Come, Holy Ghost: Davie
There is a balm in Gilead: Dawson
Let us with a gladsom mind: Ridout
Prologue to The Apostles: Elgar
Festival Te Deum: Vaughan Williams
Evening Hymn: Gardiner

Palm Sunday
All glory, laud, an honor
The way to Jerusalem: Friedell

Holy Week
Choral variations on "Ah, holy Jesus": Petrich
O vos omnes: Casals

The joyful Eastertide: Wyton
Christ the Lord is risen today
Christ our Passover: Dirksen

Gothic 3-CD set G49131pad$24.95pad