The 45-track album will feature a festive version of the show’s theme tune as well as traditional hymns and carols
Downton Abbey’s Christmas specials have already become a December television tradition, but now the hit series is making a bid for the music charts. ITV producers have announced a 45-track double-LP called Christmas at Downton Abbey, featuring hymns, carols and seasonal tracks by actors Elizabeth McGovern, Julian Ovenden and Jim Carter.
Ovenden, who released a pop album in 2012, said it was a “massive honour” to contribute to Downton’s first Christmas record. Charles Blake sings five songs on the album, including Silent Night and O Holy Night, plus a duet with McGovern, who plays Cora, Countess of Grantham.
“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,” McGovern said in a statement. The actor has released one record as frontwoman of Sadie and the Hotheads, a folk-country group that got its start at the Castle Pub in Notting Hill.
Despite the actors’ contributions, most of Christmas at Downton Abbey is comprised of songs by established musicians, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Choir of Kings College. Downton’s TV theme has also been adapted as a two-part festive suite, performed by the Budapest City Orchestra. Carter, who plays the bashful butler Charles Carson, closes the first disc by reading Clement Clarke Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Christmas at Downton Abbey will be released on 10 November.
This article was written by Sean Michaels, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 14th October 2014 08.39 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010