• A Christmas album you’ll want to return to year after year, from the fabulous Swingle Singers... There are few music lovers in this world who haven’t heard heard the name the Swingle Singers. Since the release of their ground - breaking debut album Jazz Sebastien Bach in 1963, this eight-voice a cappella group has performed in every continent and in the world’s most famous stages, sustaining over four decades a level of international popularity beyond the dreams of its founder, American born Ward Swingle. The current line-up of young, gorgeous and talented singers is, of course, several incarnations of “Swingles” younger than the original team. Ward Swingle affectionately refers to them as his “grandchildren”. What defines this unique group is not the personnel, nor even the choice of music, but the intimate, close microphone, quasi-instrumental sound with which they stunned the world all those years ago. They continue to do so today both live and in the studio. unwrapped will help to make Christmas an even more special occasion, Swingles-style. The quality of these vocal arrangements here is splendid ... A wonderful record, for home listening in intimate surroundings - International Record Review
  • Another highlight of Scotland's musical life comes from the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) National Girls Choir. Joined by Claire Jones, the official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Christopher Bell leads performances of Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, An English Day-Book - an exciting rarity by English composer Elizabeth Poston - and two contemporary works by Scottish composer Oliver Iredale Searle and Irish composer Stephen Deazley. ★★★★★ This debut recording by Christopher Bell's NYCoS National Girls Choir could so easily have been just another recording of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, but for two things: the wholesome confidence of the choir itself … and the successful partnering of Britten's masterpiece with Elizabeth Poston's edgy and colourful An English Day-BookThe Scotsman The voices are rich toned, well-balanced and powered by developing teenage musculatureClassic FM Magazine Clear as a jingle-bell, the NYCoS National Girls Choir take Britten’s unadorned carols without fear or sentiment in a translucent readingLa Scena Musicale
  • A leading light in the world of youth choral music, the Rodolfus Choir is made up of choristers from ages 16-25 who are past and present participants of the Eton Choral Courses, begun by the choir's director Ralph Allwood in 1980. This new Christmas programme mixes the familiar with works not usually heard in carol services – such as Tomas Luis de Victoria's stunning eight-part, two-choir Ave Maria (from an edition prepared by John Rutter), and more recent works such as Chris Chivers' Ecce Puer and Eric Whitacre's Lux Aurumque. Such a programme is well-suited to a choir with the versatility and enthusiasm of the Rodolfus choir. [The choir’s] discipline and diction throughout a testing programme is exemplary - The Daily Mail Beautifully sung - The Daily Telegraph The freshness of attack you get with younger voices is put to incisive use by conductor Ralph Allwood, whose Rodolfus singers are all products of the famous Eton choral courses - BBC Music Magazine
    The sweet/sour harmonies of Warlock's Bethlehem Down are so deliciously balanced that it is difficult not to leap up from the fireside and press the backtrack button to hear this magical performance over and over again - International Record Review  
  • The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Christmas concerts are one of the highlights of this celebrated ensemble’s musical year. Joined by the RSNO Junior Chorus, this disc captures some highlights of these concerts with a selection of festive favourites both old and new. The mix is infectious and the performances full of fun and panache - The Daily Telegraph There are plenty of Christmas albums around, as you know, but this one is blessed with an extra dose of charm. Listening to it, I can almost smell the cranberry sauce - Classic FM Magazine
  • BBC Music Magazine Award winning choir Tenebrae return to disc on Signum under the expert direction Nigel Short with a sumptuous album of Carols, Hymns and other celebratory works for Christmas. It is probably superfluous to say that the performances by Tenebrae are top class - but they are - Music Web International Crystalline beauty... every voice part is constantly alert to the expressive possibilities of the music and crafts it all with care and musicality. The ensemble's extensive experience [is] belied by the disc's youthful, festive joy - Sinfini This uplifting album captures all the passion and precision for which the choir is renowned - The Lady
  • Huw William’s leads the choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal in a festive new recording of Christmas carols old and new from St James’s Palace, London.
  • The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge’s advent service is a staple of the British choral world, and is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 almost every year. The service features much-loved favourites from the festive season alongside a variety of new works commissioned especially for the event. This disc of live recordings features performances by the choir from their four most recent services from 2014-17. ★★★★ This superbly programmed collection will take your Advent listening in unexpected, but entirely apposite, directions - BBC Music Magazine The choir has retained its renowned clarity, flamboyance and readiness to take risks - Gramophone The choir has retained its renowned clarity, flamboyance and readiness to take risks - The Guardian This disc gives a very good flavour of the excellent Advent music one can hear at St John’s - MusicWeb International
  • Christmas

    £12.00
    The international award-winning octet, VOCES8, has established itself at the forefront of British a cappella. Performing a repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to unique Jazz and Pop arrangements, the group has been praised for stunning performance, exquisite singing and creating a sound that spans the entire range of vocal colour.
     
    "... Voces8 has put together an exceptionally attractive collection of classic carols and anthems mixed with less familiar works. The most striking aspects of the performances are a rare level of tonal clarity and a focused unanimity in the singers' vowels that produce a ringing, almost startling purity, which is enhanced by the crystalline, ideally resonant sound of Signum's CD ... The program is marvelously varied, but all of the pieces, whether written in the middle ages or the 21st century, are gorgeous examples of sumptuous choral writing, and these performance do them full justice. Highly recommended." All Music Guide
     
    Runner-up - Best Classical Album - Contemporary A Cappella Society Awards 2012
     
  • A new album bringing classic carols to life under the expert direction of conductor and author Andrew Gant, marking the release later this year of his new book “Christmas Carols, from Village Green to Church Choir”.

    Everyone loves a carol - in the end, even Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of midwinter mood, like the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine and the twinkle of lights on a tree. It’s a kind of magic.

    In this new accompanying recording, Andrew Gant’s choir Vox Turturis bring these carols to life with captivating performances of classics such as ‘The Angel Gabriel’, ‘Adeste fideles’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ as well as less-known gems like ‘Ce?le?brons la naissance’, ‘Les anges dans nos campagnes’ and ‘Tempus adest floridum’. The CD booklet also includes a short essay by Gant highlighting some of the fascinating stories behind these works.

    Christmas Carols brims with anecdote, expert knowledge and Christmas spirit. It is a fittingly joyous account of one of our best-loved musical traditions.

  • British composer Thomas Hewitt Jones (former BBC Young Composer of the Year) and his brother, acclaimed violinist Simon Hewitt Jones, collaborate on their first Christmas violin concerto. Titled A Christmas Party, the seven minute long virtuosic concerto for solo violin and orchestra is based on well-known Christmas themes, and provides a pot- pourri of festive music to make the season sparkle. “I was looking to write an upbeat piece of seasonal music which could be enjoyed by audiences and orchestras over the Christmas holidays” says Thomas, who has works frequently played on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. “I wanted to write it for Simon, a super violinist who brings out the virtuosic playfulness of the piece.” As well as the concerto, the release also includes one of Hewitt Jones’ seasonal choral works Child of the Stable’s Secret Birth, performed by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the Clare Lane Ensemble alongside a Christmas version of 'Cameron's Lament' - Thomas's response to David Cameron's humming which became a viral hit online in July 2016.
    This digital-only recording is available from all major download stores and streaming services in MP3, CD Quality and Studio Quality/24-bit audio, and includes a digital booklet. It is also available to buy as a ‘Presto CD’ – a standard CD made to order by Presto Music with a printed booklet and inlay.
    Get it on Presto Classical
  • The King's Singers release an album of festive Christmas music, all recorded live in their spiritual home of Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, on 4th December 2015.   Available on Disc on Presto Classical on their website Available for download from iTunes here  
  • Christmas presents a golden opportunity to present brand new music to wide audiences, and the role played by St John’s College Choir in this area has been significant, as demonstrated by new recording of traditional and contemporary choral works. The recording features Michael Finnissy’s John the Baptist, written for the Choir for its BBC Advent broadcast in 2014. The programme begins with Bob Chilcott’s The Shepherd’s Carol commissioned by Stephen Cleobury (a former St John’s organ scholar) for King’s College Choir, and also includes Creator of the Stars of Night, composed by another former St John’s organ scholar, John Scott. The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest choirs of men and boys in the world, known and loved by millions from its recordings, broadcasts and concert tours. A cornerstone of the great English choral tradition since the 1670s, the Choir is recognised for its distinctive, rich and expressive sound and is today directed by Andrew Nethsingha.
    An evocatively sung collection from the Cambridge choir glowing with devotional joy - Choir and Organ
  • Welcome all Wonders: A Christmas Cantata is a large-scale work for choir, organ, and trumpet spanning 15 movements. It celebrates the Christmas story through an imaginative selection and juxtaposition of poetry and liturgical texts, and provides a multifaceted telling of the familiar narrative. The celebratory aspects of Christmas are tainted by darker themes that are inherent to the story but are easily overlooked, culminating in an enlightened and engaging work that explores the Christmas story in a profound manner.

    The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of Renaissance and Baroque music and contemporary works.

    WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING

  • A unique disc from two versatile and distinctive groups of performers: The King’s Singers and the WDR Big Band perform a new jazz version of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, arranged and directed by Bill Dobbins. Recorded live in concert, this performance captures the timeless and versatile nature of Bach’s work, retaining the integrity of the original whilst presenting it in wholly new setting. Both groups are Grammy award winners; The King’s Singers, famed for their precision and sound, and the WDR Big Band, one of Europe’s leading jazz-ensembles. Stephen Connolly's farewell disc beguiles with rich close harmony arrangements of jazz-inspired songs - Classic FM Magazine
    100 minutes of musical fun - Gramophone
  • A new festive release from the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge under their director Mark Williams – with additional performances from organists Robert Dixon and Timothy Lambourn, and trumpeter Rebecca Crawshaw. The programme is drawn from pieces for the festivals of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Candlemas:
     
    Of the annual Christian seasons, it is surely that from Advent to Epiphany which inspires believer and non-believer alike the most: the believer celebrates Christ’s birth whilst the non-believer considers hopes for rebirth and renewal as a New Year approaches … If aspirations surrounding the arrival of a new born child are universal, the Christmas music chosen here reflects the season’s inspiration through quite recent compositions, alongside music from the early part of the 20th century.
    Mark Williams
     
  • After the triumphant success of the King’s Singers last Christmas Album released in 2003 entitled ‘Christmas’, this new disc sets an eclectic assortment of modern Christmas classics with special arrangements of some much loved favourites.
    Stand-out moments include Tchaikovsky's thoughtful The Crown of Roses, Lawson's gentle Lullay my Liking and Pierpont's hyperactively jolly jingle bells, which they whizz through as though the words 'technically challenging' had vanished from the dictionaryBBC Music Magazine An eminently enjoyable release that will please fans of The King’s Singers and lovers of Christmas music alikeMusicWeb International A delightful holiday releaseAll Music Guide