In 1930 Ottorino Respighi composed "Lauda per la Natività del Signore", the only sacred choral piece among his works. In this song of praise to the miracle of Christmas, majestic sounding choral passages alternate with the solo vocal roles of Maria, the Angel and the shepherd, accompanied by the sound of pastoral instruments. The music is varied, containing stylistic elements ranging from the late romantic to neo baroque, as well as echoes of Gregorian chant. And towering above all is Respighi's trademark: the art of orchestration. The Rundfunkchor Berlin (Berlin Radio Choir) under Maris Sirmais and Nicolas Fink presents this unusual work along with several a cappella Christmas motets by other renowned 20th c. composers including Morten Lauridsen and Francis Poulenc.