The best albums of 2012: From King’s Choir’s old favorites to Chopin Nocturnes from Stephen Hough, London Brass’s most recent album.

The Christmas Album I Choose is In The Bleak Midwinter: Christmas Carols From King’s, where arguably the world’s most celebrated church choir is directed by its recently appointed director of music, Daniel Hyde.

The generous, 75-minute CD consists 16 Christmas carols that were sung at the 2020 Christmas Eve Service, which was broadcast around the globe, as well as four other songs.

Last year’s service at the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, went out without a coughing and shuffling-around congregation, so there is a rapt, contemplative atmosphere throughout.

Hyde injects a freshness into these old favourites, as if a beloved painting had been given a light clean, so it glows more brightly than before

These old favorites are given a new life by Hyde. It’s as though a loved painting has been given a clean so that it shines brighter.

Hyde brings a sense of freshness to these beloved paintings, much like when a favorite painting was given a clean. So it sparkles even brighter.

The crowd-funded crowdfunding is also highly appreciated. All You Need Is JoyFrom London Brass. Most of us grew up listening to Salvation Army musicians oompahing through Christmas carols. It’s a lot more complicated.

Most of the arrangements are complex, bringing out the extraordinary talents of some of London’s finest brass players. They also cast their net more widely than carols, so there’s music from Bach, Vivaldi and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.

The Carol connoisseurs of the past will enjoy this too An Oxford Christmas from the excellent Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea (home of the Chelsea Pensioners), directed by William Vann.

Carol connoisseurs will also enjoy An Oxford Christmas from the excellent Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A fascinating listen, with some delightful rarities included

An Oxford Christmas will delight Carol-lovers, thanks to the superb Chapel Choir of Royal Hospital Chelsea. It’s a fascinating listening experience with many delightful rarities.

These carols were taken from 1928’s Oxford Book Of Carols edited by Ralph Vaughan Williams. They are published on Albion (a label dedicated to the great British composer), next year for their 150th anniversary.

This is a captivating listen with many delightful rareities.

It was also a pleasure Strange Wonders, folk-song-style arrangements by Caitriona O’Leary and friends of carols taken from two volumes of Wexford Carols, published in 1684 and 1728. There are many more rare joyous delights here.

When it comes to stocking stuffers, my Album of The Year is the best. Chopin NocturnesThis recording was made in lockdown by Stephen Hough. It sounds amazing and is incredibly fresh.

For people who love a good tune, why not pop into their stocking Naxos’s repackaged five-CD set of the Leroy Anderson Orchestral Music, America’s light-music king, very well played by the BBC Concert Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin.