For many, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the sound of carols sung from King’s College Chapel, and each year over the festive period millions around the world enjoy the Choir’s A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols. This two-part collection celebrates 100 years of the iconic service with a mix of brand-new performances and historical recordings not heard since the original BBC broadcasts.
The first part of this special album tells the story of the service’s long history, featuring Directors of Music David Willcocks, Philip Ledger and Stephen Cleobury in recordings spanning from 1958 to 2017. A selection of traditional favourites are accompanied by world premiere performances of contemporary carols, commissioned by the College from leading contemporary composers, including Judith Weir, Arvo Pärt, Thomas Adès and John Tavener. The second part of the album features brand-new recordings by today’s choir, who shine in cherished compositions such as We Three Kings, The Shepherd’s Farewell and O Holy Night.
100 Years of Nine Lessons & Carols is a fitting tribute to one of music’s greatest institutions: one that has brought joy to so many since its inception at King’s 100 years ago and will continue to do so into the future.
This release joins other popular Christmas titles on the College’s own label, including Favourite Carols From King’s, Nine Lessons & Carols and Britten: Saint Nicholas, as well as Twelve Days of Christmas, a selection of pop and jazz classics performed by The King’s Men close harmony group.