The familiar hymn 'Veni Emmanuel' is emblematic of the Advent season – a period of reflection upon the meaning of Christ’s coming. Framing this programme, the hymn paraphrases the great ‘O’ Antiphons: plainchant settings traditionally sung on the days leading up to Christmas; complemented here by later works echoing their rich imagery and symbolism.
Founded in 1971, the Choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the leading university choral groups in the world. Beyond its primary function of leading services three times a week in the College Chapel in Cambridge, the Choir maintains an active schedule recording, broadcasting and performing worldwide.
In addition to live performances the Choir has produced an impressive discography. The Choir’s CD of John Rutter’s 'Requiem', also produced by the composer as is this disc, was awarded Editor’s Choice by Gramophone, amongst other accolades. The Choir’s partnership with harmonia mundi includes recordings of Handel’s 'Messiah', Blow’s 'Venus and Adonis', with René Jacobs, and, most recently, world première recordings of choral works by Imogen Holst, hailed for "impeccable ensemble" and "thrilling performances"