"impaccably refined and expressive singing"

The Christmas Story
Stephen Pettitt, Sunday Times
Søndag, 18. december

As collections of Christmas music go, this one stands out, not only for the impeccably refined and expressive singing, but for the immense breadth of the material it contains. There is chant, late-16th- and early-17th-century Italian music (Alessandro Grandi et al), and even something recent by Howard Skempton, a poised setting of Adam lay y-bounden. Those seeking more familiar tunes will find them in Hillier’s arrangements of Veni, veni Emmanuel, Personent Hodie, The Holly and the Ivy and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and in Pearsall’s In dulci jubilo and Hopkins’s We Three Kings. The highlight, for me, is Ars Nova’s beautifully shaped reading of Byrd’s O magnum mysterium.