"In Terra Pax: A Christmas Anthology," Naxos. The City of London Choir and Bournemouth Symphony team for this appealing English take on the holiday season. Featured are a nicely varied group of carols by composers ranging from Herbert Howells to John Rutter.
"Yuletide," Ars Nova Singers. Ars Nova, one of the region's top chamber choirs, offers a typically eclectic mix of the old and new on this self-produced album. The line-up combines Renaissance works with contemporary carols and new arrangements of familiar tunes -- all impeccably performed.
"Carols by Candlelight," Harmonia Mundi. This handsomely packaged release features the Magdalen College Choir, composed of boy choristers and undergraduate singers. This venerable English ensemble offers refined takes on music grouped around five themes associated with Advent and Christmas.
"Handel Messiah," Hyperion. No sacred work is more associated with the Christmas season than the "Messiah." Polyphony and the Britten Sinfonia offer a solid if not stellar take on the great oratorio.
"German Romantic Christmas," Oehms Classics. This Munich Bach Choir celebrates the yuletide with 19th and early 20th-century music from Germany by such composers as Johannes Brahms, Franz Gruber and Max Reger. -- Denver Post, Kyle MacMillan, December 13, 2009