Stile Antico’s newest programme centres on Tallis’s magnificent 7-part ‘Christmas’ Mass, based on the festive plainchant Puer natus est, in a new edition prepared by Sally Dunkley. The mass is interspersed with seasonal Tudor music, including Byrd’s exquisite Propers for the fourth Sunday of Advent, responsories by Taverner and Sheppard, Robert White’s exuberant setting of the Magnificat, and Tallis’s own sublime Videte miraculum.
Merry Christmas was released in 1994, and 16 years later Mariah Carey delivers a sequel, appropriately titled Merry Christmas II You and also featuring the diva in a sexy little Santa suit. The similarities don’t end there, either: Mariah revives her original seasonal tune “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and often touches upon the classy, clean updated traditional vibe of her readings from the 1994 set. Underneath this surface, Merry Christmas II You has a different vibe than its predecessor, derived in large part from the numerous originals here. Five of the 12 full songs bear a Carey writing credit (including that revival of “All I Want for Christmas Is You”)…
Conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. A fantastic concert celebrating the coming of Christmas, recorded live at one of Austria's finest baroque monasteries. Soloists are Christine Schafer, Anna Korondi, Bernarda Fink, Ian Bostridge, Christopher Maltman. With the Concentus Musicus Vienna and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir.
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.