What Sweeter Music

This Christmas we count down the days with an advent calendar of the 25 best Christmas carols ever written, as voted for by 50 top choral experts from the across the UK and US

16 December: What Sweeter Music

Words: Robert Herrick

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Music: John Rutter

American readers might have first heard this exquisite miniature masterpiece in a Volvo advertisement, yet it was originally written for the choir of King’s College, Cambridge for their 1987 service of Nine Lessons and Carols. What Sweeter Music features an exceptional melody and luscious harmonisation. As the composer himself explains ‘Robert Herrick’s lovely text was not only just right in that context, highlighting the idea of the gifts that we can bring but also seemed to sum up exactly what carols are for and what Christmas is all about.’

December 12: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

December 13: O Magnum Mysterium

December 14: Sussex Carol

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December 15: Once in Royal David's City