DECEMBER 6, 2003

Richard Todd
The Ottawa Citizen

The Stairwell Carollers
Mourning Dove ***1/2

When it comes to Christmas music, nothing can beat the air of sacredness and the warmth of spirit one encounters in a cappella choral singing. Yet one can only stand so many Silent Nights and Joy to the Worlds, however beautifully they may be sung.
Ottawa’s Stairwell Carollers have released a collection of 24 beautiful and beautifully sung seasonal carols, only a handful of which are well known. These are done with enough verve and character to keep them from seeming overly familiar.
Most listeners will treasure this collection for the out-of-the-way offerings like Quem pastores laudavere and L’annoncation de l’ange Gabriel. There is also a piece called Mourning Dove by Pierre Massie, the Carollers’ conductor. It has a rarefied loveliness quite different from anything else on the CD.
If your local record store doesn’t have a copy of Mourning Dove, you can order it online (
© Copyright 2003 The Ottawa Citizen