Alright, here is my attempt at an Advent playlist (not a Christmas one). Most of these are on the somber side of things. Remember, Jesus hasn’t come yet.
- Fantasia on Greensleeves, Ralph Vaughan Williams, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields recording
- The Holly and the Ivy, Loreena McKennitt, from A Midwinter Night’s Dream
- Veni Veni Emmanuel, Loreena McKennitt, from A Midwinter Night’s Dream
- O Come O Come Emmanuel, Chanticleer, Our Heart’s Joy
- Noel Nouvelet, Anuna, from Christmas with Anuna
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, The Honey Trees, single
- Creator of the Stars of Night, High Street Hymns, from Love Shall Be Our Token
- People Look East, Al Petteway and Amy White, Winter Tidings
- Advent Suite, John Michael Talbot and Michael Card, Brother to Brother
- Christmas in the Room, Sufjan Stephens, from Silver and Gold Vol VIII
- Christmas Lights, Coldplay, single
- O Come O Come Emmanuel, The Cascade Horns, from Christmas Brass
Notes: Probably any recording of the Vaughan Williams piece will do.
The Advent Suite from Talbot and Card is a real power house. You might need to stop and replay that one a few times.
Sufjan Stephen’s 10-disc Christmas album is absolutely bizarre and not recommended. There are a few gems though. Make sure you listen to the volume 8 version of this song. The other one is terrible.
The Coldplay song is not bad, really.
There are about 30 brass quintet versions of O Come O Come Emmanuel and I’ve heard many of them and performed several. This is, without question, the very best one. And no, it’s not on iTunes so good luck.