Sacred Night - The Christmas Album


Fionnuala Sherry on violin and Rolf Løvland on piano
All lead vocals by Cathrine Iversen
Orchestra: F.A.M.E.'s Orchestra, Macedonia except as noted

All music and lyrics by Rolf Løvland except as noted

  • A Million Stars (New track) - A touching Christmas song to open the album.
  • Ave Maria (New track) - A new composition written and arranged with traditional lyrics by Rolf Løvland.
  • Sacred Night - The album's title track.  Backing vocals by Espen Grjøtheim.
  • Sagnet om Julerosen (The Legend of the Christmas Rose) - Sung in Norwegian.  Backing vocals by Renate Gjaerlow Larsen.
  • 'Cause Of You (New track) - A beautiful duet with Espen Grjøtheim.
  • Sigma (New track) - Lyrics by David Agnew.  A new recording of this song.  The original version was on the Secret Garden album Song from a Secret Garden.  Orchestra: RTE Concert Orcestra conducted by John Tate.  Choir: Anúna.
  • Mørketid (Winter Darkness) - Sung in Norwegian.
  • Christmas Time Is Here Again (New track) - Choir: The Junior Musicals Theatre School Choir, Dublin.
  • I Dette Stille Øyeblikk (In This Silent Moment) - Lyrics by Cathrine Iversen.  Sung in Norwegian.
  • Mary’s Lament - Lyrics by Brendan Graham.  Orchestra: Czech National Symphony Orchestra.  A new recording of this song.  The original version was on the Secret Garden album Winter Poem with vocals by Fionnuala Gill.
  • Desembernattens Sang (December Night Song) - Sung in Norwegian.  Backing vocals by Renate Gjaerlow Larsen.  Features a brass quintet.
  • I Know A Rose Tree - Music by Michael Praetorius and lyrics traditional, arranged by Rolf Løvland.  Choir: Anúna, arranged and conducted by Michael McGlynn.  A new recording of this song.  The original version was on the Secret Garden album Fairytales as well as Essential Anúna.


When Secret Garden released their first Christmas album Sacred Night in 2020, their fans were ultimately left wanting more.  The album was absolutely beautiful, a gem in the Christmas album oeuvre, but it contained only seven songs.  It didn't take long for the wait to be over, however, as Secret Garden re-released the album containing five additional songs, and titled it "Sacred Night - The Christmas Album".  This album is not comprised of the customary traditional Christmas songs, but rather a selection of mainly original compositions sung in both English and Norwegian.  However the songs on this album are akin to traditional Christmas songs, and are magnificently performed with an abundance of Christmas joy and spirit.

As was the case with all the songs on the first Sacred Night album, the stunning voice of Norwegian soprano Cathrine Iversen is again front and center on all of the new songs.  Fionnuala Sherry on violin and Rolf Løvland on piano, along with the members of Secret Garden and the orchestras employed, provide a magnificent backdrop for this stunning set of yuletide music.

And of the five new songs, four are new works by Rolf Løvland, and the other is a new recording of their piece Sigma, which appeared on their debut album Songs from a Secret Garden.  Secret Garden is duly accompanied by the Irish choir Anúna on this piece.  Espen Grjøtheim joins Cathrine Iversen for the beautiful duet 'Cause of You, and Rolf Løvland has created a beautiful new Ave Maria melody, arranging it with the traditional lyrics.  The Junior Musicals Theatre School Choir, Dublin joins Secret Garden on the charming Christmas Time Is Here Again, and the opening track on the album, A Million Stars, is a touching Christmas song.

The album is rounded out by the seven songs from the original Sacred Night album including the breathtaking title track "Sacred Night", the Norwegian song "Desembernattens Sang", complete with its brass quintet that harks of Christmases of yore, and the beautiful hymn "I Know a Rose Tree", so wonderfully complimented by the Irish choir Anúna.  And even if you don't fully comprehend the songs sung in Norwegian, you will still appreciate the sheer beauty of these songs.  The quality of all the pieces on this album showcase Rolf Løvland's talent not only as an amazing writer and arranger of music, but also as a fine lyricist.

If you are looking for a Christmas album that is different from the norm, but still has that Christmas feeling, than this is the one.  Secret Garden is once again at their very best, and the results are a magnificent Christmas album!

Bravo Secret Garden!

Return to the top of the page

Return to the music page

John's Secret Garden Tribute Site