Every year on Advent Sunday St Paul's Cathedral in London holds an Advent Carol Service. This recording captures the mood and structure of this event, presenting a selection of the music which might be performed in its liturgical order.
The Church's preparation for the coming of Christ begins in contemplative mood with the plainchant processional Laudes Regiae and the famous Mattins Responsory ('I look from afar …'). The wealth of music that follows is typical of the approach of this choir: traditional favourites such as Hosanna to the Son of David and the Parsons Ave Maria rest alongside contemporary works from composers such as John Rutter, Richard Lloyd and Philip Wilby. This album—and the hypothetical service—comes to an end with a joyous arrangement of the great hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel; an organ toccata on the same theme by Andrew Carter acts as the voluntary.