The most traditional way to celebrate Christmas is to turn to Gregorian chant. The Tallis Scholars do this in three different styles: the interpretation of it by the 12th century abbess Hildegard of Bingen (these are her own compositions); the living Gregorian tradition as shown in settings of the Salve regina and Nunc dimittis, and as adapted in the medieval popular song In dulci jubilo; and Arvo Pärt’s reimagining of this tradition, partly in the Orthodox view. In particular there is his Da pacem, where the alto voice quotes a whole chant melody, running from start to finish of the piece. For a thousand years, chant represented all there was of ‘classical’ music. And it remains second to none in evoking the atmosphere of the great feast days.

Amy Haworth, Emma Walshe, Daisy Walford, Rachel Haworth

Caroline Trevor, Elisabeth Paul

Steven Harrold, Simon Wall

Tim Scott Whiteley, Simon Whiteley