O Holy Night: A Merton Christmas

The Choir of Merton College joins forces with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra for a recording of their Director Benjamin Nicholas’s favourite popular carols. Two of John Rutter’s most exquisite works are complemented by orchestral versions of well-loved traditional fare.

From the ecstatic brass fanfares that introduce O Come, All Ye Faithful and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing to the intimate performances of Elizabeth Poston's beautiful Jesus Christ The Apple Tree and Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium, Christmas old and new is celebrated with a fresh sense of all its magic and glory. The choir and orchestra loved making this recording, and it shows.


If you’re in the market for a superbly sung collection of festive favourites old and new, look no further than O Holy Night … the gently glowing, rapt account of Morten Lauridsen’s O magnum mysterium which closes the disc dispelled even my mutterings of ‘Bah Humbug’.

Recording of the Week, Presto Classical, 1 December 2017

predictably excellent, a textbook example of a well-blended, very English choral sound

The Arts Desk, 9 December 2017

Listening to this disc feels very much like what I imagine being at a concert in Oxford during the holiday season would feel like. Lots of favorites here, and a lot to love.

The Bay Area Reporter, December 2017

The singing is not only exquisite but has that sense of magic and glory that instills in one's spirit a genuine feeling of hope for a true fraternal love among all men.

Music & Vision, December 2017

Track listing

John Rutter - All bells in paradise

John Rutter - Shepherd’s Pipe Carol

Elizabeth Poston - Jesus Christ the apple tree

Mendelssohn, arr. David Willcocks - Hark! the herald-angels sing

Hector Berlioz - The Shepherds' Farewell

Traditional, arr. David Willcocks - Unto us is born a son

Harold Darke - In the bleak mid-winter

Bob Chilcott - The Shepherd’s Carol

Patrick Hadley - I sing of a maiden

Gruber, arr. John Rutter - Silent night

Adolphe Adam, arr. John Rutter - O holy night

Traditional English, arr. Arthur Sullivan - It came upon the midnight clear

Bob Chilcott - The Bird of Dawning (première recording)

WJ Kirkpatrick, arr. David Willcocks - Away in a manger

Traditional German, arr. Robert Lucas de Pearsall - In dulci jubilo

Thomas Hewitt Jones - What child is this?

JF Wade, arr. David Willcocks - O come, all ye faithful

Morten Lauridsen - O magnum mysterium

O Holy Night: A Merton Christmas - CD cover