Every year, the holiday season brings a new assortment of fabulous and festive Christmas albums. Here are some of the inspiring recordings we’ve received for 2019. Let them accompany your celebrations this Christmas and for years to come.
Stile Antico: A Spanish Nativity
Focusing on works for Christmas and Epiphany, Stile Antico explores musical treasures of the Spanish Renaissance, drawing together an irresistible mix of sumptuous polyphony and infectiously joyful folk dances. The centerpiece of the album is the rich and luminous Missa Beata Dei genitrix Maria by Alonso Lobo.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: The Centenary Service
In 2018, Sir Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, celebrated 100 years of Nine Lessons and Carols, the iconic festival that is enjoyed by millions around the world. The performance marked the final time that Cleobury, who passed away on November 22, 2019, would lead the service.
Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King
Margaret Bonds receives long overdue recognition with the world-premiere recording of her crowning achievement, The Ballad of the Brown King. With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Gesualdo Six: Christmas
The Gesualdo Six is a vocal ensemble comprised of some of the United Kingdom’s ﬁnest young singers, directed by Owain Park. From the timeless plainchant Veni Emmanuel to a riotous Jingle Bells, The Gesualdo Six present a program of Christmas treats effortlessly spanning the centuries.
Christmas with True Concord
Every December, True Concord presents its popular Lessons and Carols by Candlelight concerts in the Tucson area. With this album, the ensemble captures the essence of the much-loved concerts with the mostly familiar carols presented here, but in musical settings by American composers that are new or not widely known.
Christmas with The 5 Browns
Closing in on 15 years since their self-titled 2005 debut heralded them as a revolutionary force in classical music, The 5 Browns share the joys of the season on their first-ever holiday collection. The five sibling pianists perform fresh, dynamic arrangements of both familiar and lesser-known pieces.
Christmas at St. George’s Windsor
The Choir of St. George's Chapel, world famous through its royal patronage, is one of the United Kingdon’s foremost vocal ensembles, participating in daily services throughout the year at its Windsor Castle home. This program collects a wide range of music appropriate to Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
Northside Brass: Christmas Carols for Brass
Founded in 2011, Northside Brass is comprised of freelance musicians in Chicago who regularly perform with a variety of groups. The ensemble’s new holiday recording is an homage to the popular Festival of Carols album released by the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble in the 1960s.
Herman van Veen and Ton Koopman: Weihnachtslieder
Dutch singer-songwriter Herman van Veen tells the Christmas story in a delightfully fresh form that sounds as if he had written the songs himself. His version, now joyful, now reflective, includes arrangements featuring strings, flutes, oboe, lute, and organ under the musical direction of Ton Koopman.
Schütz: The Christmas Story – Yale Schola Cantorum
Yale Schola Cantorum presents Heinrich Schütz’s dramatic retelling of the birth of Christ in a charming tableau of angels, shepherds, and wise men. Designed to be performed as part of the Christmas Vespers service in Dresden, The Christmas Story is the jubilant climax to a program of music from the mid-1600s.