"Christmas at Downton Abbey" includes seven exclusive cast recordings and an extended festive version of the "Downton Abbey" theme
Carnival Films, producers of "Downton Abbey," together with Warner Bros. Records, confirmed 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, McGovern 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.
She 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."
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.
He 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 honor 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 and exclusive extended seasonal suite version of the "Downton Abbey" theme music; and part one and part two 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 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 Nutcracker Suite" and many more.
"Christmas at Downton Abbey" is available to pre-order now and will be released Nov. 10. The album will be available internationally via Warner Music Group affiliates in "Downton Abbey" key markets.
Click here to pre-order.