Schütz’s ‘Christmas story’ is an absolute delight from beginning to end, its charming tableaux of angels, shepherds and wise men completely belying the composer’s old age and constrained circumstances. Here it’s the jubilant climax to a programme of Christmas motets from the 1640s.
The Yale Schola Cantorum comprises roughly 30 singers and a dozen instrumentalists, but they sound light and bright nonetheless. They make a fine impression in the opening Hodie Christus natus est, and the choir’s interventions are among the most telling on this CD...Hill’s sense of shaping and narrative sweep is equally positive but cannot really compensate for the set’s major drawback, the unevenness of the soloists. Gramophone