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Image Festive Trumpets for Christmas
If there’s one thing that makes Christmas what it is, it’s festive music and uplifting melodies: “Festive Trumpets for Christmas” is the new Christmas album from Matthias Höfs, to be released by Berlin Classics on November 5. On this new album, the trumpeter joins his brass ensemble and organist Christian Schmitt in a wide-ranging program. The instruments of the musicians ring out in triumphal tones, brilliantly nuanced, capturing the joy and splendor of the Christmas festival. There are works by Albinoni, Handel, Vivaldi, Morales and Scheidt, along with arrangements by Peter Lawrence, Nikolaus Herman and Matthias Höfs himself. In this programme, Matthias Höfs appears with a variety of ensemble formations, whether with trumpet quartet, with horn, trombone and tuba, or with bassoon, harpsichord and organ – amply portraying the differing characteristics of the instruments and their richness of timbre. The sensitivity with which the musicians listen to one another, for fine shading of the interpretation, creates an atmosphere of touching intimacy, of concentration on the heart of the Christmas message: Unto us a child is born. Höfs aims to convey the German tradition as such, both in sound and style: “In the age of globalization, in which everything is geared to international exchange, I should like to make my contribution to the preservation of this typical sound and culture.” The program reflects his wish.

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Image Christmas Carols with The King's Singers
This brand new Christmas album from The King’s Singers features 25 tracks covering everything from contemporary choral gems and folk songs through to well-loved carols. Dotted throughout the album are several of the most famous English church carols, which take The King’s Singers right back to their earliest singing days, and which also reflect the group’s heritage at King’s College, Cambridge. In Christmas Carols with The King’s Singers, the group bottle that frosty, moonlit, fireside Christmas wonder and pour it into their sound. The King’s Singers have represented the gold standard in a cappella singing on the world’s greatest stages for over fifty years. They are renowned for their unrivalled technique, versatility and skill in performance, and for their consummate musicianship, drawing both on the group’s rich heritage and its pioneering spirit to create an extraordinary wealth of original works and unique collaborations.

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Image 100 Christmas Meditation (5CD)
Following the success of 100 Christmas Classics (Capriccio C7331) comes Christmas Meditation, featuring 100 choral and vocal works from across the centuries. The set encompasses sacred Renaissance treasures including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Bach/Gounod’s Ave Maria, Handel’s Baroque masterpiece Messiah (‘He shall feed his flock’) and classic Christmas carols such as It Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Richard Storrs Willis and Franz Xaver Gruber’s Stille Nacht (‘Silent Night’). Featuring some of the most renowned choral institutions, Christmas Meditation offers listeners a classical Christmas to remember.

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Image In the Bleak Midwinter: Christmas Carols from King
In the Bleak Midwinter reflects a Christmas that was unlike any other in recent history. Much of the music on this album was heard around the world as part of the 103rd Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service that has been broadcast live every year since 1930.

But for Christmas Eve 2020, the continuation of this uniquely long-running tradition was not to be. A full service, with lessons, carols, organ voluntaries and prayers, had been recorded in an empty Chapel for use in the event that a live broadcast became impossible, and it was this that was called upon just days before Christmas Eve. For its millions of listeners, the broadcast meant the continuation of a Christmas tradition in a year when so many were without their friends and family, and without so much of what makes Christmas special.

Music from Christmas Eve is supplemented on this album by a selection of specially recorded tracks. It marks not only a moment of light in a time of considerable darkness for so many, but the beginning of a new era for the Choir of King’s College under the direction of Daniel Hyde, with this his first full album at King’s since his appointment in 2019.

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Image An Elizabethan Christmas
Viol consort Fretwork and mezzo soprano Helen Charlston explore the more reflective and sombre Christmas celebrations of Elizabethan England, in a collection of works by William Byrd, Anthony Holborne, Orlando Gibbons and Martin Peerson. With celebrations confined strictly to the 12 days from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, the preceding Advent was regarded as a time of religious introspection, with music composed to mark both fasting and feasting. Byrd’s consort songs for voice and 5 viols encompass this range, from the joyous Out of the Orient Crystal Skies – ending with an exuberant ‘Falantidingdido’, a word whose meaning is lost to history – to his Lullaby, a ‘song of sadnes and pietie’ that became one of Byrd’s most enduringly famous songs. In 2021, Fretwork celebrates its 35th anniversary. In the past three and a half decades they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged. In addition to this, Fretwork have become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned over 40 new works. Acclaimed for her musical interpretation, presence and “warmly distinctive tone” (The Telegraph), Helen Charlston is quickly cementing herself as a key performer in the next generation of British singers. Helen won first prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition and was a finalist in the Hurn Court Opera Competition, and the Grange Festival International Singing Competition.

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Image Noël Eternel
Ever since that first angelic night, Christmas has been celebrated in song. In the baroque period, many composers such as Charpentier have composed original masterpieces based on simple folk tunes. Here in a special double album edition are baroque carols from the choir of La Maîtrise de Radio France, with Les Musiciens de Saint Julien, as well as the best-known French Christmas carols (Les anges dans nos campagnes, Venez divin messie...) from the Maîtrises of Radio France and Notre-Dame de Paris. The two internationally renowned children’s choirs combine to celebrate the Nativity and share with us these timeless songs.

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Image Carol of the Bells
The Sixteen contrasts traditional with contemporary in this choral feast of festive music. Bob Chilcott's sumptuous Advent Antiphons based on plainsong melodies anticipate the coming of Christmas and feature alongside Mykola Leontovich's much-loved Carol of the Bells, Richard Rodney Bennett’s stunning Susanni and Eric Whitacre’s shimmering Lux aurumque. Interspersed with the beautiful simplicity of traditional carols, this is a Christmas collection to savor. Harry Christophers stands among today’s great champions of choral music. In partnership with The Sixteen, the ensemble he founded almost 40 years ago, he has set benchmark standards for the performance of everything from late medieval polyphony to important new works by contemporary composers. His international influence is supported by more than 150 recordings and has been enhanced by his work as Artistic Director of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and as guest conductor worldwide. The Sixteen’s soundworld, rich in tonal variety and expressive nuance, reflects Christophers’ determination to create a vibrant choral instrument from the blend of adult professional singers. Under his leadership The Sixteen has established its annual Choral Pilgrimage to cathedrals, churches and other UK venues, created the Sacred Music series for BBC television, and developed an acclaimed period-instrument orchestra. Highlights of their recent work include an Artist Residency at Wigmore Hall, a large-scale tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Symphony No. 5, ‘Le grand Inconnu’; their future projects, meanwhile, comprise a new series devoted to Purcell and an ongoing survey of Handel’s dramatic oratorios.

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Image A Christmas Journey
2021/22, a cultural season unlike any other, brings the 30th anniversary of Cypres. Musical renewal and reinvention is of the essence for any record label in today’s environment. An enterprising spirit; a constant quest for newly composed works; firm roots in the local musical landscape; representation of prestigious names and advocacy of young talent: all these are elements that constitute our particular creative formula. Now that we are 30 years old we can confidently take pleasure in sharing our musical philosophy with you. This fifth album in our anniversary series offers a real Christmas odyssey, a journey through time in search of our childhood memories: Tino Rossi for some, Jingle Bells for others. Composer and arranger Aldo D. Platteau has carefully selected the most beautiful existing Christmas carols and assembled them into a fresco of Seven popular and traditional Christmas scenes for choir, soloists and instrumental ensemble. These musical pictures allow us to reconnect with our traditions and give us the intimate conviction that there is a magical dimension to life - the magic of Christmas!

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Image A Belfast Christmas
Choral music has always played a significant and central role at Belfast Cathedral, since its consecration in 1904. This strong choral tradition continues to this day with the recently formed all-adult, fully professional vocal ensemble. This ‘new’ cathedral choir brings together some of the finest singers in Northern Ireland who lead the liturgy and worship of Belfast Cathedral and are featured here in their debut album for Resonus Classics. Featuring a varied program of seasonal carols from composers including Elizabeth Poston, John Rutter and Philip Ledger, this album celebrates Christmas from Northern Ireland’s national cathedral.

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Image Christmas Bells: Organ Music from Belfast Cathedra
For this recording Organist Matthew Owens presents a diverse recital of some of the greatest Christmas music ever written for the instrument. Traditional tunes, whether Lutheran chorales, plainchant, French noëls, or medieval carols, have provided the inspiration for much Christmas organ music throughout the years, with much of this program made up of pieces based on such tunes, from J.S. Bach’s Canonic variations on Vom Himmel hoch to Louis-Claude Daquin’s Noël Suisse. This recital also draws on more contemporary sources and presents several world premiere recordings including Howard Skempton’s Christmas Bells and Gary Davison’s Seven Versets on Divinum Mysterium, both of which were written specially for this recording.

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Image In dulci jubilo - Christmas Concert by Michael Pra
Michael Praetorius saw his most important mission as a composer in the promoting and spreading of the German-language chorale. His collection Musae Sioniae consists of altogether nine volumes and is virtually a complete edition of the Lutheran chorales in every setting imaginable. The Christmas hymns in Musae Sioniae, today just as popular as in that time, were of particular importance for Praetorius. He took greatest care in handling them and presented them often in many different settings. Most of the Christmas hymns selected for this album are also to be heard in different settings, from ornate bicinia and tricinia (in which only two or three of the same voices are used) to magnificent polychorals with two or three choirs, the choral texture so masterful that even the most complicated counterpoint is clearly audible.

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Image O Nata Lux
With "O Nata Lux", The Zurich Chamber Singers under the baton of Christian Erny release an album of Christmas choral music that stands out from purely liturgical Christmas albums while at the same time focusing on the core of the Christmas message. A musically diverse album with motets and songs from five centuries. According to the famous German Christmas carol “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen”, Jesus was born “in the cold midwinter, in the middle of the night”. The light that disperses the cold and darkness is a central topic of Christmastide art and music, and an element of many winter-time traditions the world over. At Christmas, Christians celebrate the redemption of mankind at a time of darkness, expressed through the imagery of light. With their new album entitled “O nata lux”, the Zurich Chamber Singers highlight this symbolism as it has been represented for many centuries in the western art music tradition. Following the chronology of the Advent and Christmas season, the album ranges from Renaissance works by Osiander, Tallis and Praetorius to song settings by Bach, Holst and Britten and contemporary works by Marcus Paus (with marimba) and Rhiannon Randle. Her work commissioned in 2018 by the Zurich Chamber Singers, has close musical ties with Tallis’s work from over four hundred years earlier. Written in memory of her grandmother, Randle’s choral work is at times meditatively introverted, then again self-assured with consolation and confidence. Through the different tonal languages, the young Swiss ensemble illuminates the various aspects of the Advent and Christmas season. The range extends from the clear and haunting simplicity of a hymn to Brucknerian sonority and the interesting combination of deep marimba tremolos with the choir's wavy, effervescent chord layers.

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Image Sächsische Weihnacht
For his new album, Ludwig Güttler has put together what he considers the most beautiful and contemplative Christmas songs. The great trumpet player reminisces about Christmas in his homeland, the Ore Mountains in Saxony, Germany. "Christmas in the Ore Mountains is something very special. Due to the mining tradition, it is a celebration of light. If you imagine how a miner, centuries ago, got up early in the morning when it was still dark and attended the morning service, then went down the shaft and came home from work when it was already dark, then, like this worker, you develop a longing for the light. Today it is hard to understand, when we illuminate everything around us with electric light – and too often we overshoot the mark, if we think of the global problem of light pollution. I associate the Christmas of my childhood with a reality shining through with light and thoughts like: What do I give to whom? And even more: what do I get? When I was five, my grandmother gave me an accordion. A treasure, packed in a simple cardboard box. In terms of my being and continuing to practice on the instrument, its contents were the most lasting gift I ever received." Sächsische Weihnacht ("Saxon Christmas") contains 36 tracks and two encores, carefully collected from Güttler's concert program of recent years. It is all previously unreleased material by the great trumpeter, recorded together with his brass ensemble in various churches in Saxony, including the Frauenkirche in Dresden, the Marienkirche in Pirna and the church in Polditz.

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Image Das große Adventskonzert
Shortly before Christmas, when more than 25,000 people flock to the stadium for the big Advent concert and hundreds of thousands of TV viewers take their seats in their living rooms, that's when Christmas really begins for many Dresdeners. What began in 2015 as part of the celebrations for the anniversary of the world-famous Dresdner Kreuzchor has now become one of the biggest and most beautiful Christmas events in Germany: flanked by stars from the international music world, one of the best boys' choirs in the world presents the most famous Christmas melodies in classical and modern arrangements. The new album captures the unique atmosphere of this special event on double album and brings it into the living room. The album features long term acquaintances of the Adventskonzert as well as new musical partners of the Kreuzchor: In a duet with the choir, rock legend Peter Maffay enchants with his Tabaluga hit "Nessaja - Ich wollte nie erwachsen sein" ("Nessaja - I never wanted to be grown up"), while Finnish star soprano Camilla Nylund brings the atmosphere of Scandinavian Christmas to Germany. Tenor Klaus Florian Vogt, at home on all stages of the world and also a guest on the album, is featured with "O holy Night" and "Adeste fidelis". Musical and soul accents are set by Sabrina Weckerlin, who adds another facet to the special genre mix. The same goes for Finnish trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth and her very own Christmas sound. The Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke, read by Samuel Koch, rounds off the new studio album.

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Image Christmas
Buzz Brass inspired dreams with this new opus, Christmas. The quintet takes the listener out of the familiar with this majestic, elegant and refined arrangements to highlight the holiday season. The male vocal quartet Quartom joins as guest artists in ‘Noël canadien’ and ‘The 12 days of Christmas.’ The ensemble's latest volume, Inspirations, has been hailed as proof of their "testament to the ensemble’s sensational embouchure" by the prestigious Gramophone magazine. Since 2002, Buzz Brass quintet has been travelling all over the globe to captivate classical music lovers. Whether its concerts consist of brass quintet alone or together with guest musicians, the original artistic propositions it presents leave nobody cold. With over 1,600 appearances to its credit, the ensemble has reached more than 350,000 music lovers throughout North America, Europe and China. The numerous awards and distinctions that Buzz Brass has earned over the years (Opus, ADISQ, and Trille Or) attest to both the quality and the relevance of its musical performances.

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Image Herrnhuter Weihnacht
For years, Peter Kopp and his Vocal Concert Dresden have been making a name for themselves through the discographic release of highly interesting and hitherto little-noticed compilations and programs. After works of the Dresden court music or Venetian treasures, it was most recently Masonic music of the 18th century. Now music of the Moravian Church, the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine. Its historical significance and international appeal, which literally radiates from a tranquil village in Upper Lusatia into the entire world, will not only celebrate its 300th anniversary next year, but will also be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Through the brothers' emigration and mission to North America, they left behind a fascinating musical treasure there that is considered one of the cornerstones of North American musical history. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, one could encounter high-quality music from Europe in the settlements of the Brethren, there called "Moravians." The Moravians thus became a musical bridge between Europe and the New World. What is remarkable about this connection is that compositions written in faraway places were also brought back to Germany and again included in the repertoire here. This may have been an absolutely unique feature of the Herrnhuter in the 18th century. Notwithstanding its high repertoire value, this production presents festive Christmas music. It will appeal to the lover of baroque Christmas music as well as to the listener who wishes to broaden his or her musical spectrum.

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Image Lieder zur Weihnacht
Peter Schreier is one of the legendary tenors of the twentieth century. Throughout his 60-year career and even after his passing, he has been celebrated by listeners, friends and colleagues, especially as Bach interpreter and Lied singer. To celebrate the Christmas holiday, he devoted himself to a selection of carols by the four great song masters of the late Romantic period: Peter Cornelius (1824- 1874), Joseph Haas (1879-1960), Max Reger (8173-1916), and Hugo Wolf (1860- 1903). From well-balanced, melodic and, above all, singable tunes to challenging piano parts, they offer a wide variety of emotional statements and subtle detail, not least through the interpretation of these two sensitive artists.

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Image Midvintervaka - Vintra Solstico
In 2010, the music ensembles Kaja and Tetra found each other in a mutual passion for new musical encounters. There, the idea of a performance on the theme of Christmas, fellowship and Midwinter vigil was born. A colorful Christmas show, where the audience is welcomed into the warmth with dance and music from various ethnic music traditions: Nordic, Greek, Arabic, Romany, Macedonian, Galician, Caribbean and Argentinian Tango, alternating with original compositions and poetry. In 2011, the show “Midvintervaka” had its world premiere in Gothenburg, resulting in superb reviews. Since then, the highly praised show has toured from Piteå to Malmö, and in 2012 the debut album with the same name was also released. “Midvintervaka” now celebrates its ten year anniversary! The performance has been dressed in new garments with deeper hues and new features since the world premiere. The follow-up album “Vintra Solstico” (i.e. Midwinter solstice in Esperanto) presents a wide musical scope, Maria hymns from Europe and Lebanon, a sufi song from Morocco, Silent night in greek and spanish, as well as new compositions, poems and
improvisation. The music was recorded at the Studio Epidemin, with
Gothenburg’s foremost folk music producer Henrik Cederblom at the mixer table. “Vintra Solstico” can now be enjoyed in our homes as the Winter solstice and Christmas celebrations are approaching.

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Image Christmas Oratorio (2CD)
Johann Sebastian Bach composed
six cantatas for the Christmas holidays in 1734, to have one performed for each particular holiday during services in the main churches of Leipzig, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. Both the narrative march of the Gospel and the tonality in which the musical framework was composed, give the cantatas a character of an autonomous cycle that Jordi Savall and his groups face for the first time.

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Image Christmas Songs
«Christmas Songs» er en plateutgivelse med duoprosjektet: Thom Hell (vokal) og Andreas Ulvo (piano, synth). Målet med platen var å lage noe enkelt og intuitivt over kjente og kjære julesanger; At fremførelsen skulle være upretensiøs, i motsetning til slik vi er vant med å høre høytidssanger. For at nerven og spontaniteten ikke skulle forsvinne fra innspillingen, ble det bare gjort ett opptak av hver låt, med enkle overdubs der man i ettertid følte det trengtes.
Andreas Ulvo (f. 1983), pianist og keyboardist fra Eidskog i Hedmark. Han har mastergrad i jazz og improvisasjon fra Norges Musikkhøgskole. Han er aktiv med flere egne prosjekter Andreas Ulvo ensemble, Eple trio, Innlandet og sitt eget soloprosjekt, med flere utgivelser. Han har også jobbet med band og artister som Ingrid Olava, Mathias Eick, Solveig Slettahjell, Ellen Andrea Wang, Karl Seglem m.fl.
Thom(as) Hell(and) (f. 1976), multiinstrumentalist og vokalist fra Hånes i Kristiansand. Autodidakt. Har utgitt 8 album som soloartist og vunnet 3 spellemannpriser: 2 som årets artist og 1 som årets popkomponist. Har på jobbet som produsent og medvirkende med bla Jonas Alaska, Matilda, Jonas Fjeld og Marte Wulff. Thom Hell har også deltatt i Hver Gang Vi Møtes, samt vunnet Det Store Korslaget

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Image Christmas Vibes
There’s no shortage of Christmas music out there that can evoke the holiday spirit. But it takes a master of groove and swing like Warren Wolf to conjure a true feeling of Christmas Vibes. On his new album, the vibraphone great and father of five offers an album of jazzy Yuletide cheer sure to provide the ideal soundtrack to the season for the hippest families on the block. Christmas Vibes presents Wolf’s interpretation of some perennial favorites (“O Christmas Tree,” “Winter Wonderland”) alongside left-field choices (“Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”) and a new original song that captures the loving but hectic atmosphere of the Wolf house at Christmas. Carrying on in the R&B and gospel-tinged style of Wolf’s most recent Mack Avenue release, Reincarnation, the album offers a unique, soulful twist on Christmas caroling.

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Image Advent Live, Vol. 2
The sublime Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge return with the second volume in their Advent series - celebrating the advent season from within the Christian tradition; a season celebrated since at least the sixth century. This splendid live recording, from within the Chapel of St. John’s College itself, features Christmas favorites, including Britten’s Deo Gracias from A Ceremony of Carols as well as gorgeous performances of lesser known works by modern composers including Jonathan Dove, Arvo Pärt and Paul Manz. The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge (link is external) is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world – known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours and over 90 recordings. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its rich, warm and distinctive sound, its expressive interpretations and its ability to sing in a variety of styles. Alongside this discipline, the Choir is particularly proud of its happy, relaxed and mutually supportive atmosphere. The Choir is directed by Andrew Nethsingha following in a long line of eminent Directors of Music, recently Dr George Guest, Dr Christopher Robinson and Dr David Hill.

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Image Christmas Night - Carols of the Nativity
The theme of this album is the birth of Christ, reflected in the words and music of twenty-two carols spanning more than six centuries. Some of these carols have long been widely known and loved; others have become so thanks to the annual Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge; a few are newly written. But all of them focus on the central event of the Christmas story – the birth at Bethlehem – and on the characters in that story: the angels, the shepherds, the wise men, and the mother with her child. John Rutter writes: “This has always been my favorite among the Christmas albums I have devised and conducted, but digital sound restoration techniques have made huge advances in the years since it was recorded and it was time to give it a spring-clean. In remastering it, it has been possible to bring the sound of the choir and the orchestra to life, and I have been able to enjoy it anew. The Cambridge Singers in 1985 were at the top of their game, and the choir list includes at least two singers who are now internationally renowned as soloists. We hope you will enjoy this classic recording in its newly restored form.”

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Image Sacred treasures of Christmas
A celebration of Christmas from the Nativity through to Candlemas, in music from across sixteenth-century Europe: Renaissance polyphony at its finest.

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