Hodie Christus natus est
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.
Music: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Best known for his finely wrought keyboard works, early 17th-century Dutch composer Sweelinck also wrote some heavy-weight choral music, of which this joyful carol is one of his best examples. Taken from his second book of Latin motets, the 1619 Cantiones Sacrae, this sparkling, three-minute carol isn’t harmonically or contrapuntally complex, but it manages to create the illusion of constant movement by swapping little melodic ideas back and forth between the five parts.