Christmas. So many questions. What to eat, what to watch, what to read? And, most important, what to listen to? The Musica Viva Australia team, always keen to help, have come up with a playlist of their favourites – some entirely predictable, and some quite surprising.

The Messiah — Yuri Hurig, Graphic Designer

From The Messiah, this is not festive at all -- on the contrary -- but it is so beautiful.


White Wine in the Sun — Olivia Hobbs, ACT Co-ordinator

I have way too many favorites (anything with a good descant, which could be a whole post on its own). But I'll nominate Tim Minchin's 'White Wine in the Sun', because it’s beautiful (one of my partner's favourites), I just saw him in concert (amazing!!), and it's all about being with family. 


Once in Royal David's City — Harriet Cunningham, Content and Brand

Once in Royal David's City, sung at the start of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Chapel, is not an original choice but once a year this makes me homesick for Christmas in the country where I grew up. It's absolutely spine-tingling, a solo voice in a massive chapel, and always broadcast nationally on Christmas Eve. Our family tradition was to decorate the tree while we listened to it. Legend has it that the choristers do not know who will sing this solo before the service, and that the director taps a boy on the shoulder as they're going into the chapel. Harriet Cunningham, Content and Brand


The Choir of King's College, Cambridge — Katherine Kemp, Director of Concerts and Communities

Obviously, anything Christmassy from The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, but may I also draw your attention to the utterly whacko organ variations at about 19'30. It begins very innocently with 'King Jesus hath a Garden' and then the eggnog kicks in and we end up in polytonality. I love to think of the number of people (my kids included) who put the album on as soothing background music and then lose their minds at some point during this track. #nerd


From Handel to holly and from The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, to New Kids on the Block, here are some top picks for your Christmas listening. Enjoy!