Randall Thompson: Requiem

We should have played this sooner: it’s superb and would be a great recording for early Christmas morning (or late Christmas Eve). The sleeve notes say that more than 30 years after Thompson’s death, several of his choral works are performed “with regularity”, and Alleluia (1941) at one point had more copies in print than […]

James Whitbourn: Carolae Music for Christmas

Another Christmas album but like the Septura one last week, mostly not specifically for Christmas. It’s a choral album but Whitbourn is adept at taking magnificent music and making it listener-friendly; this could be music from 500 years ago, contemplating the Christian message and enormity of eternity but in Whitbourn’s hands it’s palatable for modern […]

My First Christmas Album

If you’re looking for a Christmas album that the kids will like but won’t drive you up the wall, try this. It’s one of a series of Naxos CDs that try and introduce children to classical music, My First Complete Ring Cycle and My First Foray into Schoenberg’s Free Atonality being others. (OK, we made […]

Septura: Christmas with Septura

Seven-piece Septura have played a blinder with this album, which presents classic Christmas music played on brass. Septura, a group that brings together London’s leading players “to redefine brass chamber music”, manages to sound both non-brass band-y and non-Christmas-y on an album that offers a brass band playing Christmas music. It’s a Christmas miracle. By […]