Advent at Merton

The beginning of Advent is celebrated with a particular solemnity at Merton. For its second recording, the choir explores the musical riches that adorn this most special time in the church year, centring on a newly commissioned sequence of Magnificat antiphons from seven leading composers including Howard Skempton, Ēriks Ešenvalds and Sir John Tavener.

The mingled hopes, fears and expectations of the season are beautifully articulated by this fervent body of young singers.

The most notable chapel choir offering [this Christmas]...All the music is radiant, all of it is unexpected, including a set of seven Advent antiphons commissioned by the chaplain...and comes from a choir that's gone from being a minor player in Oxbridge choral music to becoming one of the most exciting groups in its area


This richly varied collection of mainly contemporary music for Advent, most of it directed by Nicholas, is exquisitely sung...a fine seasonal disc.


The radiant young voices, sumptuous acoustics and quality items s should make for gripping listening all year round


At the heart of this Advent service is a set of seven antiphons specially commissioned from seven composers for Merton College chapel. They work splendidly as a sequence...Peter Phillips and Benjamin Nicholas elicit high levels of technical and expressive achievement from their student charges.

Recording venue(s): Chapel of Merton College, Oxford
Recording dates: 14-16 April 2012
Physical format: Digipack
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 18
Total playing time: 0:56:21
Album ID: DCD34122