By John Rutter
Christmas Motets gathers together in one volume sixteen of the finest motets and related pieces for the season of Christmas. The collection gives due space to the magnificent works of the Renaissance period, with well-known motets such as Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium and Sweelinck's Hodie Christus Natus Est placed alongside works by Byrd, Palestrina, and Mouton. Four carol-based pieces provide settings of familiar tunes, such as In Dulci Jubilo and Quem Pastores Laudavere, while the renowned early Christmas song Riu, Riu, Chiu is also included. And there are works from later periods, including Bruckner's Virga Jesse, and ecstatic motet in praise of Christ's birth, and Cui's fervent and sonorous setting of the Magnificat. As such, the collection is an outstanding and richly varied survey of the repertoire, and provides a superb choice of pieces for all choirs seeking a broad selection of music for this season.
John Rutter has prepared completely new editions of all the pre-twentieth-century works, going back to the earliest and most reliable manuscript or printed sources. New English singing translations are provided for the majority of pieces, with playable keyboard reductions in every case.