In an attractively mixed programme, Allmänna Sången, one of Sweden's most well-established choirs, takes the listener to that special place – Christmas! Classic Christmas songs such as Silent Night and Hark, the Herald Angels Sing – performed in Swedish, English and Latin – are mixed with less traditional, but no less atmospheric, works by John Rutter, Jean Sibelius and others.
On most of the tracks the choir is supported by musicians from the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, who also performs The Children's Christmas Eve, a charming suite for strings by Niels W. Gade.
Guest artist is Karl-Magnus Fredriksson, one of Sweden's foremost baritones, who joins his impressive voice to the celebrations, for instance in Adolphe Adam's O, Holy Night. Cecilia Rydinger Alin, who has conducted the choir's previous, highly acclaimed releases on BIS, again proves her ability to adapt to different genres: the Renaissance clarity of Hodie Christus natus est; the intimate modernity of Det är en ros utsprungen – Jan Sandström's arrangement of Prætorius' A Spotless Rose; the Romantic splendour of Howell's setting of the same text; and the folk-inspired Innan gryningen ('Before Dawn') by Benny Andersson of ABBA fame. All in all, a sack full of gifts, each one beautifully packaged and full of joy, celebration and wonder.