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Stephen Cleobury - A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols: The Centenary Service

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A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols: The Centenary Service

Stephen Cleobury and Choir of King's College, Cambridge

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In 1918, the Rev. Eric Milner-White, the Dean of King's College, Cambridge, introduced to the college the "Lessons and Carols" format that were already in use on Christmas Eve at other institutions in England, as well as at Brown University in the U.S. The King's College version had a special festive intensity resulting partly from the recent Armistice, and it was this service that the new BBC chose for broadcast in the 1920s. The Festival of Lessons & Carols has since become known over much of the world, and its 100th-anniversary celebration in 2018 involved several special performances and recordings, given added weight by the imminent retirement of the longtime King's College Choir director, Stephen Cleobury. Buyers should note that there are two album releases with different emphases; hardcore Choir of King's College fans will probably want both. There is a double album entitled 100 Years of Nine Lessons & Carols that features historical recordings of the Lessons & Carols, plus a disc of new recordings of current repertory. That group overlaps partly with the present album, which offers a live recording of the 2018 service and its actual lesson readings by college officials and, distinctively, choristers of various types. The performance is a strong one in general, moving effectively between festive pieces and more meditative ones like John Tavener's The Lamb, and the album provides a snapshot of where the choir's repertory was in 2018, with not only Tavener but several other contemporary pieces including a new work, Judith Weir's striking O mercy divine. In addition to appealing to devotees of the collegiate choral tradition, this album could make a good starting point for those new to the Choir of King's College: in every way, it has the feel of a living tradition.
© TiVo

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A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols: The Centenary Service

Stephen Cleobury

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1
Once in royal David's City (Desc. Stephen Cleobury )
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:04:21

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Henry John Gauntlett, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Henry Mann, Composer - Novello, MusicPublisher - George Hill, Soloist, MainArtist - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

2
Bidding Prayer, Lord's Prayer and Blessing
The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry
00:03:16

Anonymous, Composer - The Congregation, Ensemble, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

3
Up! good Christen folk
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:01:20

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - George Ratcliffe Woodward, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Piae Cantiones, Composer - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

4
Reading: First Lesson (Genesis 3.8-15, 17-19)
A Chorister
00:02:44

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - A Chorister, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

5
Adam lay ybounden
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:01:11

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Boris Ord, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Novello, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

6
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:02:39

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Elizabeth Poston, Composer - Banks Music Publications, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

7
Reading: Second Lesson (Genesis 22.15-18)
A Choral Scholar
00:01:02

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - A Choral Scholar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

8
In dulci jubilo (Arr. Robert de Pearsall)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:03:04

Traditional, Composer - Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

9
I saw three ships (Arr. Simon Preston)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:02:15

Traditional, Composer - Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Novello, MusicPublisher - George Hill, Soloist, MainArtist - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

10
Reading: Third Lesson (Isaiah 9.2, 6-7)
A Representative of Eton College
00:01:08

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - A Representative of Eton College, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

11
Nowell sing we (Ed. Stephen Cleobury)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:03:07

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher - Mediaeval, Composer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

12
Unto us is born a Son (Arr. David Willcocks)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:02:21

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Piae Cantiones, Composer - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

13
Reading: Fourth Lesson (Isaiah 11.1-4a, 6-9)
A Fellow
00:01:59

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - A Fellow, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

14
A Spotless Rose
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:02:44

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Herbert Howells, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - STAINER AND BELL LTD, MusicPublisher - Charlie Baigent, Soloist, MainArtist

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

15
The Lamb
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:03:07

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - John Tavener, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

16
Reading: Fifth Lesson (Luke 1.26-35, 38)
Master over the Choristers
00:02:30

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Master over the Choristers, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

17
Joys Seven (Arr. Stephen Cleobury)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:03:14

Traditional, Composer - Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Bowley, Soloist, MainArtist

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

18
Bogoróditse Dyevo
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:01:15

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Arvo Pärt, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Universal Edition A.G., Wien, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

19
Reading: Sixth Lesson (Luke 2.1-7)
A Representative of the City of Cambridge
00:01:01

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - A Representative of the City of Cambridge, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

20
What sweeter music
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:04:09

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - John Rutter, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

21
Stille Nacht (Arr. Philip Ledger)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:02:28

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Franz Gruber, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

22
Reading: Seventh Lesson (Luke 2.8-16)
Stephen Cleobury
00:01:40

Anonymous, Composer - Stephen Cleobury, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

23
In the bleak mid-winter
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:04:08

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Harold Darke, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Stainer And Bell, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Micklethwaite, Soloist, MainArtist

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

24
While shepherds watched their flocks by night (Desc. Stephen Cleobury)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:02:53

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Christopher Tye, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Novello, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

25
Reading: Eighth Lesson (Matthew 2.1-12)
Vice-Provost
00:02:45

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Vice-Provost, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

26
O mercy divine [Premiere]
Guy Johnston
00:03:56

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Judith Weir, Composer - Guy Johnston, Soloist, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Chester Music Ltd, MusicPublisher

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

27
Sir Christémas
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:01:44

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - William Mathias, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

28
Reading: Ninth Lesson (John 1.1-14)
Provost
00:02:09

Anonymous, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Provost, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

29
O come, all ye faithful (Desc. David Willcocks)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:04:23

Adeste Fideles, Composer - Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Oxford University Press, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

30
Collect and Blessing
The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry
00:01:05

Anonymous, Composer - The Congregation, Ensemble, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

31
Hark! the herald angels sing (Desc. Stephen Cleobury)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
00:03:24

Stephen Cleobury, Conductor, MainArtist - Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Composer - Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Choir, MainArtist - Encore Publications, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

32
In dulci jubilo, BWV 729
Henry Websdale
00:02:37

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Henry Websdale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2019 King's College, Cambridge 2019 King's College, Cambridge

Album Description

In 1918, the Rev. Eric Milner-White, the Dean of King's College, Cambridge, introduced to the college the "Lessons and Carols" format that were already in use on Christmas Eve at other institutions in England, as well as at Brown University in the U.S. The King's College version had a special festive intensity resulting partly from the recent Armistice, and it was this service that the new BBC chose for broadcast in the 1920s. The Festival of Lessons & Carols has since become known over much of the world, and its 100th-anniversary celebration in 2018 involved several special performances and recordings, given added weight by the imminent retirement of the longtime King's College Choir director, Stephen Cleobury. Buyers should note that there are two album releases with different emphases; hardcore Choir of King's College fans will probably want both. There is a double album entitled 100 Years of Nine Lessons & Carols that features historical recordings of the Lessons & Carols, plus a disc of new recordings of current repertory. That group overlaps partly with the present album, which offers a live recording of the 2018 service and its actual lesson readings by college officials and, distinctively, choristers of various types. The performance is a strong one in general, moving effectively between festive pieces and more meditative ones like John Tavener's The Lamb, and the album provides a snapshot of where the choir's repertory was in 2018, with not only Tavener but several other contemporary pieces including a new work, Judith Weir's striking O mercy divine. In addition to appealing to devotees of the collegiate choral tradition, this album could make a good starting point for those new to the Choir of King's College: in every way, it has the feel of a living tradition.
© TiVo

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