Got to talking on Facebook the other day about Advent albums---in theory, this should be its own thing, as a season separate from Christmas, but it's often folded into the behemoth category of Christmas music.
I only knew of one album of Advent music, but of course, many friends schooled me on the other great ones out there. So I've been building a bit of a playlist, which people have asked for.
Here you go---sorry there are no links, but I'm doing this quickly since we're celebrating a certain seven year old's birthday today. A quick Google or iTunes search will get you there.
Advent: Piano Solos, Jim Morgan. Especially these tracks: Rejoice, Divinum Mysterium, Hyfrydance (my favorite)
Advent at Ephesus, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. I dumped the whole album onto the playlist because it's such lovely choral music.
Midwinter, Peter Mayer. This singer-songwriter hits just the right Adventish tone on this album of original music, though a few tracks are explicitly Christmasy. So you should avoid Stables, Christmas Morning, Heavenly Child, and Make My Christmas Day until later. But don't forget to add them to your Christmas playlist because they're beautiful. I dream of using Where Is the Light with a church choir someday. It's rousing!
Advent, Vol. 1 and Advent, Vol. 2, The Brilliance. These were recommendations, haven't downloaded them yet. Same with Advent by Tangled Blue.
Thanksgiving, George Winston, December.
Each Winter As the Year Grows Colder, Marty Haugen. Haven't found a version of this that I love, but the words are wonderful, very Adventish.
God, Beyond All Names, Bernadette Farrell. I like the Trinity Episcopal Church version. I could listen to these lyrics all day. And it has a fun alto line.
Veni Emmanuel and Of the Father's Love Begotten, both from Winter's Solstice III by Wyndham Hill
Beneath the Trees, William Ackerman, Winter Solstice
There is No Rose, Chanticleer, A Chanticleer Christmas
Lo How a Rose E'er-Blooming, Jennifer Knapp and Margaret Becker, The Hymns of Christmas
O Come O Come Emmanuel, Pentatonix, PTXmas
Gabriel's Message, Sting. He has a couple versions of this (most recently on his Winter's Night album) but I like the original 1980s version from A Very Special Christmas.
Enjoy! What have I missed?