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A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols / Cleobury


Release Date: 11/02/1999 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 73693   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henry John GauntlettTraditionalBoris OrdHarold Edwin Darke,   ... 
Performer:  Edward MooreBenjamin BaylThomas BullardEdward Harries,   ... 
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 23 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Perhaps, for many, like myself, Christmas really begins at 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve when the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is broadcast by BBC Radio direct from Kings College Chapel in Cambridge. Many (myself included in my younger days when I lived close-by in Peterborough) will have queued since the early morning (some hardy souls even through the night) to be part of the audience for this unique Christian celebration.

This recording of the Service includes not only the carols I have listed above but the nine lessons (traditionally read by representatives of the Choir, the Church, and the colleges of Cambridge) prefaced by a Bidding Prayer and rounded off with an organ voluntary - In dulce jubilo (J.S.
Read more Bach).

There are many favourite carols included. It is good, for instance, to see Boris Ord represented by his lovely 'Adam lay ybounden' based on a 15th century source. Many of us will remember not only one of the first recordings of excerpts from the Festival, made by Ord, and released on the old Argo label, but also Boris in the first televised carol programme from Kings back in 1954 (there is a photograph of him reading the lesson in the booklet). Another popular Kings figure, David Willcocks, is remembered, too, and he is represented by two of his carol arrangements: 'God rest you merry, gentlemen' and 'I saw three ships.' That other fine Kings' organist, Philip Ledger, is represented by his beautiful arrangement of the Sussex Carol. One must not forget Harold Darke either. His gorgeous 'In the bleak mid-winter' (based on a text of Christina Rossetti) has long since been a special favourite of mine.

It has become a tradition to include new carols each year. Judith Weir and Thomas Adès were both former students of King's College. Both have works in this programme. The Adès 'Fayrfax Carol' has bell-like tollings and skirts along the edges of tonality/atonality. I was very attracted to the purity of John Taverner's 'The Lamb' and to John Rutter's lovely 'Dormi, Jesu.'

The booklet notes are by Stephen Cleobury who gives a fascinating history of the Festival and all the texts of the carols and the readings are included.

Clearly, no recording could replace the immediacy of the real event but this recording might be regarded as an introduction in the days preceding Christmas or as an alternative if for some reason one has to miss hearing it on the radio or seeing it later on TV. Hearing that wonderful descant on the middle verse of 'O come, all ye faithful' we know, indeed , that Christmas has arrived.

-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Once in Royal David's City by Henry John Gauntlett
Performer:  Edward Moore (Treble), Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: A.H. Mann and Stephen Cleobury 
2.
Up! Good Christian folk, and listen by Traditional
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: G.R. Woodward 
3.
The Truth from Above by Traditional
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Ralph Vaughn Williams 
4.
Adam lay ybounden by Boris Ord
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 1 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
5.
On Christmas Night "Sussex Carol" by Traditional
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: P. Ledger 
6.
In the bleak mid-winter by Harold Edwin Darke
Performer:  Thomas Bullard (Baritone), Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
In dulci jubilo by Robert Lucas Pearsall
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen by Traditional
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: R. Willcocks 
9.
A Tender Shoot by Otto Goldschmidt
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Gabriel's message by Traditional
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: Basque Provinces 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Pettman 
11.
Joys Seven by Traditional
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ), Edward Harries (Treble)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Stephen Cleobury 
12.
Dormi, Jesu by John Rutter
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in English & Latin. 
13.
Ríu, ríu, chíu "El lobo rabioso" by Mateo Flecha
Performer:  Julian Perkins (Baritone)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Medieval 
Written: Spain 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
14.
The Fayrfax Carol by Thomas Adès
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: English 
15.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night by Traditional
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1592; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Stephen Cleobury 
16.
I saw three ships by Traditional
Performer:  Edward Moore (Treble), Adrian Kelly (Tenor)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Willcocks 
17.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks and Stephen Cloebury 
18.
Festgesang "Hark! The herald angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Stephen Cleobury 
19.
In dulci jubilo, BWV 729 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
20.
Illuminare, Jerusalem by Judith Weir
Performer:  Benjamin Bayl (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: English 
21.
The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; England 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Chapel, King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: English 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Speedy January 14, 2014 By Jeannette Winner (DANVILLE, NH) See All My Reviews "So happy to receive this DVD so quickly. I had seen the artists the night before.. Therefore I wanted their DVD while the performance was still fresh in my mind." Report Abuse
 So good we gave it as a gift! January 3, 2014 By Gerald M. (Rockville, MD) See All My Reviews "We have enjoyed the broadcasts of Nine Lessons and Carols every December 24th and were privileged to attend that service a half-dozen years ago. And we gave it as a Christmas Gift to dear friends who are pretty homebound these days. Each such service is a little different but the lessons are the same as are some of the carols. Excellent!" Report Abuse
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