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On Christmas Day / Cleobury, King's College Choir


Release Date: 10/04/2005 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 58070   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert ChilcottRichard Rodney BennettJudith BinghamArvo Pärt,   ... 
Performer:  Dan HydeTom WinpenneyAshley GroteFergus Thirlwell,   ... 
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 31 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is internationally renowned for its service of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast live from King’s College Chapel all around the world each year on television and radio on Christmas Eve. Together under the direction of Stephen Cleobury, the Choir has made several recordings of carols with EMI Classics celebrating this custom. The Choir has now recorded this disc of contemporary Christmas carols commissioned especially for them, entitled "On Christmas Day".

The new carols sung by the Choir each Christmas Eve are always eagerly awaited by audiences. Stephen Cleobury has developed a long-standing commitment to bringing contemporary compositions to the Choir’s
Read more repertoire alongside the very traditional and he and the Choir are well known for their great support of new music. They have explored much contemporary classical repertoire in their recordings with EMI Classics and this new recording continues that tradition, with a programme of pieces by a wide variety of modern composers. The prestige of King’s College Choir and the reputation of their director, Stephen Cleobury have attracted commissions from some of the world’s most acclaimed composers, which appear on this recording. Among them, “The Gleam”, a new piece by Gramophone Award-winning artist Harrison Birtwistle, “In Wintertime” by Lennox Berkely and “Bogoróditse Dyévo” (Mother of God and Virgin), which was a special gift to the Choir and Stephen Cleobury from Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, who won the “Contemporary Music Award” at the Classical Brit Awards in May 2003. The disc also includes the Winter Solstice Carol, written by Giles Swain and commissioned by King’s College Cambridge for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in 1998, for which the Choir is joined by flautist Philippa Davies. In addition, there is the carol “What Sweeter Music” by composer John Rutter, several of whose works have been recorded by King’s College Choir and released on EMI Classics, including his Requiem.

The recording has been three years in the making, with the first session taking place in 2002 in the Chapel of King’s College and its stunning acoustic. The last session was finished in 2005, bringing to completion this very special recording of new carols.

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Works on This Recording

1.
Shepherd's carol by Robert Chilcott
Performer:  Dan Hyde (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
On Christmas day by Richard Rodney Bennett
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2003 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
God would be born by Judith Bingham
Performer:  Tom Winpenney (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Bogoroditse Devo by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 07/2003 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Church Slavonic. 
5.
The Angels by Jonathan Harvey
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
In Wintertime by Lennox Berkeley
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2003 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Christmas Carol by Robin Holloway
Performer:  Ashley Grote (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
The three Kings by Jonathan Dove
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
What Sweeter Music by John Rutter
Performer:  Ashley Grote (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
A Gathering by John Casken
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Illuminare, Jerusalem by Judith Weir
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2003 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Latin and Scottish. 
12.
One Star, At Last by Peter Maxwell Davies
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
13.
Carol for St. Steven by Alexander Goehr
Performer:  Fergus Thirlwell (Boy Soprano), Edward Grint (Bass)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
14.
The Birthday by Peter Sculthorpe
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; Australia 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: English 
15.
Winter solstice by Giles Swayne
Performer:  Philippa Davies (Flute)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
16.
Seinte Mari moder milde by James MacMillan
Performer:  Oliver Brett (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; Scotland 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 7 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Latin and Scottish. 
17.
The Gleam by Harrison Birtwistle
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
18.
Christo paremus cantica by Diana Burrell
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Date of Recording: 07/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in English and Latin. 
19.
Spring in WInter by John Woolrich
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
20.
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: 12/1998 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Middle English. 
21.
Sweet Jesu by Nicholas Maw
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; England 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Old English. 
22.
Pilgrim Jesus by Stephen Paulus
Performer:  Tom Winpenney (Organ)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Chapel of King's College, Cambridge 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in English and Latin. 

Sound Samples

The Shepherd's Carol
On Christmas Day to my Heart
God would be born in thee
Bogoróditse Dyévo (Mother of God and Virgin)
The Angels
In Wintertime
Christmas Carol
The Three Kings
What Sweeter Music
A Gathering
Illuminare, Jerusalem
One star, at last
Carol for St Steven
The Birthday of thy King
Winter Solstice Carol
Seinte Mari moder milde
The Gleam
Christo Paremus Cantica
Spring in Winter
The Fayrfax Carol
Swete Jesu
Pilgrim Jesus

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