This is the second release from one of Oxford s most exciting and up-and-coming vocal ensembles: the Choir of Somerville College. Under the leadership of its musical director, David Crown, with guest soloists Mary-Louise Aitken and Jeremy Carpenter, the disc is a musical countdown to Christmas, featuring 24 carols and a bonus track for the big day itself. The repertoire is an attractive mixture of some of the best-loved Christmas anthems, together with a handful of première recordings, with each Sunday of advent being marked by a Bach chorale. Some of the tracks are a cappella, others accompanied by organ, and they were all recorded in the beautiful acoustic of Oxford s Keble College Chapel. Somerville College Choir has made great advances in recent years under the leadership of Crown, and this disc, with its engaging programming, is a testament to the vitality and freshness of one of the most exciting of Oxford s collegiate choirs. Attractively packaged, with full texts and informative notes by Crown, the wonderful performances of the choir make this disc a stand-out classical music purchase for the festive period.
Lusty performances, and a nice mix of familiar and less familiar selections. Performance *** Recording *** --BBC music magazine, Christmas 2013
A showcase for the Oxford college choir tradition, created afresh by the Somerville College Choir , Classical Iconoclast --Classical Iconoclast