“St John’s is sometimes overshadowed by its celebrated sister college, King’s, but do not discount this choir. Its musical standards are very high, and here the results are marvellous in SACD sound. .. Andrew Nethsingha’s musical leadership continues the high standard established by George Guest. The St John’s chapel is a spacious but more intimate setting than King’s and the sound there is clear and warm. Challenger makes excellent use of the organ, especially its reeds in the more dramatic moments. This is now one of the most favoured of my many Christmas choral recordings.”
Robert A Moore – American Record Guide – November/December 2012
"...This release stands out thanks to out thanks to the commitment to quality and high artistic values shown here by St John’s College Choir and Chandos.” *****
Andrew Stewart - Classic FM magazine – February 2012
Artistic Quality 10 Sound Quality 10
"The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge has perhaps the sweetest, most mellifluous boy treble sound of all the British cathedral choirs ... this new Christmas program ... is wholly satisfying not only in that regard, but also for its well-chosen repertoire... This is 74 minutes of heavenly Christmas music, performed and recorded in the pretty respectable earthly domain of St John’s College Chapel, expertly led by Andrew Nethsingha and accompanied by the frightfully young and formidably talented organist John Challenger."
David Vernier - Classics Today.com
“This is a warming disc, eloquently sung by the choir of St John’s...”
Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph – 9 December 2011
Recording of the Month
"...The singing on this disc is very fine indeed. Solos are well taken and the choir as a group blends extremely well and sings with excellent tone and great clarity. Several of the pieces are accompanied by organ and the college’s Senior Organ Scholar, John Challenger, does a marvellous job. I relished especially his splendid contributions - very different from each other in character - to the Jackson and Mathias pieces.
It only remains to say that the Chandos sound is up to the label’s usual exalted standard - I listened to this hybrid SACD as a conventional CD. This most enjoyable disc will be a high quality Christmas present for a musical friend - or to give to yourself!"
John Quinn - Musicweb-international.com - December 2011
"... They have established a reputation as one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world, and in this new recording On Christmas Night, have captured the essence of that celebration
of peace and hope. Fine support and keen registration by organist John Challenger, and strong musical insights and solid leadership by conductor Andrew Nethsingha, all combine to make this one of the best Christmas music CDs out this year."
Jean-Yves Duperron - Musidata.com - 28 November 2011
"...the finest ’cathedral’ Christmas disc of the year ... Blessed with a particularly homeogenous and secure line-up of trebles... John Challenger makes full use of the chapel organ ..."
- Gramophone- December 2011
Performance **** Recording *****
“Chandos engineering ... casts a luminescent glow round these excellent performances by the choir of St John’s College, Cambridge ...”
Terry Blain – BBC Music Magazine – Christmas 2011