Alma Redemptoris Mater, as one of Palestrina’s most popular compositions, has the reputation of being a very serene Italian motet. Its soothing theme throughout evokes celestial music; its simplicity produces a great sense of peace.
O Magnum Mysterium is an extremely early Spanish carol: “O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia!”
Personent Hodie is a Finnish carol originally published in the 1582 song book, Piae Cantiones. It was written in honor of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and children. If performed with only four players, second flute should play top divisi notes.