The debut album from the Choir of Kings College Cambridge features a specially recorded performance of their glorious ‘Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols’, and includes many of the most well-known Christmas carols as well as new commissions from some of today’s most popular composers.

Featuring the music and reading from A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (2010 service), as well as recent carol commissions and a work composed by John Rutter specially for this recording.

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NINE LESSONS & CAROLS Choir of King`s College Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury. Kings College Cambridge 2cdsNINE LESSONS & CAROLS Choir of King`s College Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury. Kings College Cambridge 2cdsView or buy

With a TV and radio audience of millions, the annual broadcast of carols from King’s College, Cambridge is an essential Christmas tradition for families all over the world. The debut album from the choir’s own label features a specially recorded performance of their glorious ‘Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols’, and includes many of the most well-known Christmas carols as well as new commissions from some of today’s most popular composers.

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is one of the world’s foremost choirs and unquestionably among the most widely heard. It owes its existence to King Henry VI, who envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent chapel. This remains the Choir’s raison d’être, and is an important part of the lives of its 16 choristers, who are educated at King’s College School, and the 14 choral scholars and two organ scholars, who study a variety of subjects in the College. The Choir has been a breeding ground for numerous professional singers, many of whom will appear on forthcoming recordings from the new label.

The Choir has a rich recording heritage, having appeared on many albums for both Decca and EMI Classics. The Choir’s recording of Rutter’s ‘Gloria’ has sold in excess of 100,000 units globally and its previous albums of Christmas music have sold in millions.

The Choir of King's College, CambridgeThe Choir of King's College, CambridgeThe Choir of King's College, Cambridge

This double album faithfully recreates the magic of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, opening with a lone treble singing ‘Once in royal David’s city’ and closing with a rousing chorus of ‘Hark! the herald angels sing’.

Each year, the Choir’s Director of Music Stephen Cleobury commissions a new carol, several of which are included on the album, including carols by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Gabriel Jackson, Brett Dean, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Dominic Muldowney and Tansy Davies. In addition, John Rutter was commissioned to write the new carol ‘All bells in paradise’ especially for this album.

Stephen Cleobury

CD1
Once in royal David’s city – arr S. Cleobury
Herefordshire Carol – arr. R. Vaughan Williams
Adam lay ybounden – B. Ord
A Virgin most pure – arr. S. Cleobury
In dulci jubilo – arr. R. L. de Pearsall
If ye would hear the angels sing – P. Tranchell
Sussex Carol – arr P. Ledger
God rest you merry, gentlemen – arr D. Willcocks
A tender Shoot – O. Goldschmidt
Dey ar en ros utsprungen – M. Praetorius, arr. J. Sandstrom
Hymne a la Vierge – P. Villette
Sunny bank – P. Hurford
Maria Wiegenlied – M. Reger
The holly and the ivy – arr. J. Nixon

CD2
While shepherds watched – desc. S. Cleobury
Illuminare, Jerusalem – J. Weir
Christmas Carol – E. Rautavaara WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Ding! Dong! Merrily on high – arr S. Cleobury
Hark! The herald angels sing – desc. D Willcocks
In dulci jubilo – J. S. Bach
COMMISSIONED CAROLS
The Christ Child – G. Jackson (2009)
Now comes the dawn – B. Dean (2007) WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Misere’ nobis – M.A. Turnage (2006) WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Mary – D. Muldowney (2008)
Christmas Eve – T. Davies (2011) WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
All bells in paradise – J. Rutter WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING