Thursday, December 31, 2015


THE FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS
King's College, Cambridge

The pattern of the Festival, based around nine Bible readings mixed with carols, has remained the same for over 90 years

Recorded 12/25/2015 from the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge

Hymn: Once in Royal David's City (desc. David Willcocks)
Bidding Prayer read by the Dean
What Sweeter Music? (John Rutter)
First lesson: Genesis 3 vv 8-19 read by a Chorister
This is the truth sent from above (David Willcocks)
Adam Lay Ybounden (Boris Ord)
Second lesson: Genesis 22 vv 15-18 read by a Choral Scholar
Ding, Dong, Merrily on High (David Willcocks)
In Dulci Jubilo (Robert Lucas de Pearsall)
Third lesson: Isaiah 9 vv 2, 6-7 read by a Representative of the Cambridge Churches
Sussex Carol (arr. David Willcocks)
Hymn: It came upon the midnight clear (desc. Stephen Cleobury)
Fourth lesson: Isaiah 11 vv 1-3a, 4a, 6-9 read by a Representative of the City of Cambridge
A Tender Shoot (arr. Otto Goldschmidt)
A Spotless Rose (Philip Ledger)
Fifth lesson: Luke 1 vv 26-38 read by the Master over the Choristers.
The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came (arr. David Willcocks)
Nova, Nova (John Scott)
Sixth lesson: Luke 2 vv 1 -7 read by the Chaplain
In The Bleak Midwinter (Harold Darke)
Dormi, Jesu (John Rutter)
Seventh lesson: Luke 2 vv 8-16 read by the Director of Music
The Shepherd's Carol (Bob Chilcott)
Hymn: God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (arr. David Willcocks)
Eighth lesson: Matthew 2 vv 1-12 read by the Vice-Provost
The Flight (Richard Causton - newly commissioned)
Here is the Little Door (Herbert Howells)
Ninth lesson: John 1 vv 1-14 read by the Provost
Hymn: O come, all ye faithful (arr. David Willcocks)
Blessing
Hymn: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing (arr. David Willcocks)

Organ voluntaries:
In dulci jubilo (BWV 729) (Bach)
Sortie on 'In dulci jubilo' (David Briggs) [broadcast on Radio 3 on Christmas Day only]

Director of Music: Stephen Cleobury
Organ Scholar: Tom Etheridge

Producer: Philip Billson

For many around the world, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, live from the candlelit Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, marks the beginning of Christmas. It is based around nine Bible readings which tell the story of the loving purposes of God. They are interspersed with carols old and new, sung by the world-famous chapel choir who also lead the congregation in traditional Christmas hymns.

Explanatory notes from Director of Music Stephen Cleobury:

"This year's selection has a very strong King's basis. The commissioned carol is from Richard Causton, a Fellow of King's College, and a university lecturer in composition. He has, in turn, commissioned a new text from George Szirtes, which has strong contemporary resonances.

In September we heard the sad news of the death of one of my predecessors here at King's, the legendary Sir David Willcocks. His many carol arrangements and descants are known the world over, and we include a number of these. Near the beginning and the end are pieces by Vaughan Williams and Howells, both composers having been very closely associated with David Willcocks.

Also, during the summer, the world of church and organ music mourned the loss of John Scott, whose setting of Nova, Nova comes after the Annunciation lesson.

We mark the 70th birthday of John Rutter by including two of the carols he has written for King's over the years. Bob Chilcott, 60 this year, is a former chorister and choral scholar of King's, and his commission for the Choir is also programmed.

Carols by Boris Ord, Harold Darke and Philip Ledger also find a place. Ord and Ledger were, respectively, the predecessor and successor of Willcocks, while Darke looked after the Choir during WW2.".

SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS
Six Centuries of European Christmas Music
The Christmas Revels
John Langstaff - director

Revel Records

CHRISTMAS WITH CHANTICLEER
Vaughan Williams, Tavener, Distler, Mäntyjärvi, Gruber, Traditional
Chanticleer
Dawn Upshaw - soprano
Joseph Jennings - music director

Teldec

A WINTER'S SOLSTICE  
Windham Hill Artists  

Windham Hill

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


YULESTRIDE
Butch Thompson

Daring Records

CHRISTMAS JAZZ
Verve Presents: The Very Best of...
Verve Artists

Verve

DREAM SEASON
The Christmas Harp
Yolanda Kondonassis - harp
Jurji Konje - percussion

Telarc



A WINTER'S SOLTICE
Volumes II, III, & IV
Windham Hill Artists

Windham Hill

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINT THOMAS BECKET
The Unfinished Vespers: December 29 1170
Gregorian Chant from Canterbury Cathedral
Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge
Mary Berry - director

Herald

SWEET HARMONY
Masses and Motets
John Dunstable
Tonus Peregrinus
Antony Pitts - director

Naxos

FOR THE FEAST OF ST THOMAS OF CANTERBURY
Gregorian Chant from Canterbury Cathedral
The Lay Clerks of Canterbury Cathedral
David Flood - Master of the Choristers

Metronome

THIRD CHRISTMAS MASS
Gregorian Chant
Monks' Choir of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Martin, Beuron
Fr. Maurus Pfaff - director

Deutsche Grammophon

Monday, December 28, 2015


TRADITIONAL & MODERN CAROLS
The Pro Arte Singers 
Indiana University Children's Chamber Choir
Paul Hillier - director

Harmonia Mundi USA



CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING
A Revels Celebration of the Winter Solstice
The Christmas Revels
John Langstaff - director

Revels Records

CHRISTMAS WITH SONOS HANDBELL ENSEMBLE
Sonos Handbell Ensemble
James Meredith - director

Well-Tempered Productions

CAROL FROM HEREFORDSHIRE
Sproatly Smith

Bandcamp/Reverb

IN NATALI DOMINI
Medieval Christmas Songs
Niederaltaicher Scholaren
Konrad Ruhland - director

Sony Classical

DECEMBER
Piano Solos
George Winston

Windham Hill

Sunday, December 27, 2015


ALLELUIA NATIVITAS
Music and Carols for a Medieval Christmas
Magister Pérotin
Orlando Consort

Metronome

TO DRIVE THE COLD WINTER AWAY
Christmas Revels in Renaissance England
The Dufay Collective

Dufay Recordings

Saturday, December 26, 2015




A CHRISTMAS CELTIC SOJOURN
WGBH Compilation
Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band, Bonnie Rideout, Sheena Wellington, Steve Schuch and The Night Heron Consort, Aine Minogue, John Renbourn, Dordan, Revels, Ensemble Choral Du Bout Du Monde, Dordan, Boys Of The Lough, Nowell Sing We Clear, Waterson:Carthy, Connie Dover

GBH/Rounder

A GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS
The Christmas Album
Tuba Meisters

Self Published

THYS YOOL
A Medieval Christmas
Martin Best Ensemble

Nimbus

Friday, December 25, 2015


CHRISTMAS VESPERS
Heinrich Schütz
Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh - director

Archiv Produktion

A RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS
The Boston Camerata
Joel Cohen - director  

Nonesuch

A TAPESTRY OF CAROLS
The Carnival Band
Maddy Prior - vocals

MHS - Saydisc

CHRISTMAS
The Moosburg Gradual of 1360
Capella Antiqua München
Niederaltaicher Scholaren

Konrad Ruhland - director

SEON - Sony

HOT JAZZ FOR A COOL YULE
Live from the Riverwalk Landing
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band

Pacific Vista - Riverwalk

A WAVERLY CONSORT CHRISTMAS
From East Anglia to Appalachia
Waverly Consort
Michael Jaffee - director

Virgin Veritas

WASSAIL! WASSAIL!
Early American Christmas Music
Christmas Revels
with Jean Ritchie & Robert J. Lurtsema
John Langstaff - director

Revel Records

LUTHERAN MASS FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING
Michael Praetorius
Gabrieli Consort & Players
Boys Choir and Congregational Choir of Roskilde Cathedral
Paul McCreesh - director

Archiv Produktion

THE NEW POSSIBILITY
Guitar Soli Christmas Album
John Fahey

Takoma

A MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS
The Boston Camerata
Joel Cohen - director

Elektra Nonesuch Erato

Thursday, December 24, 2015


AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS
Carols, Hymns, and Spirituals: 1770 - 1870
Anonymous, Christmas Traditional, American Traditional, John Jacob Niles, John Francis Wade, George Frederick Handel, American Anonymous, Benjamin Franklin White, William Billings, Patsy Williamson, Carl Thiel, Daniel Read
Boston Camerata
Joel Cohen, director

Erato

THE DARKEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR
Over The Rhine

Great Speckled Dog

ON YOOLIS NIGHT  
Medieval Carols & Motets  
Anonymous 4  

Harmonia Mundi

Wednesday, December 23, 2015




ON THE WAY TO BETHLEHEM
Music of the Medieval Pilgrim: 14th-15th Century English, Macedonian, Syrian, Croatian, Turkish, Flemish
Ensemble Oni Wytars
Ensemble Unicorn


Naxos

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


MISSA "HODIE CHRISTUS NATUS EST"
Christmas Mass in Rome
Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina
Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh - director

Archiv

Monday, December 21, 2015




I SING THE BIRTH
Anonymous, Byrd, Smith, Perotin, Palestrina, Clemens, Plainchant
New York Polyphony

Avie

ANCIENT NOËLS
Maggie Sansone and Ensemble Galilei

Maggie's Music

NATT I BETLEHEM  
Solveig Slettahjell - vocal  
Tord Gustavsen - piano
Sjur Miljeteig - trumpet  

KKV

Sunday, December 20, 2015


ILLUMINA
The Theme of Light in the Christian Tradition
Einojuhani Rautavaara, György Ligeti, William Byrd, Anonymous, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Tallis, Robert White, Sergei Rachmaninov, John Rutter, Gustav Holst, Giovanni Palestrina, Josquin Des Préz, Alexander Gretchaninov, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, William Henry Harris, Charles Wood
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Timothy Brown - director

Collegium



BETHLEHEM AFTER DARK
Butch Thompson - piano
Laura Sewell - cello

Daring Records

CHRISTMAS CAROLS FOR SOLO GUITAR
Charlie Byrd

Columbia/Sony/Koch

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015


WEIHNACHTSMUSIK DES BAROCK
Baroque Christmas Music
Bach - Handel - Purcell - Corelli - Torelli - Praetorius - Heinichen - Schmelzer - Schein - Vivaldi
Ludwig Güttler Brass Ensemble
Ludwig Guttler - director

Delta Music, GDR

A STAR IN THE EAST
Medieval Hungarian Christmas Music
Anonymous 4

Harmonia Mundi

Thursday, December 17, 2015


CYPRIOT ADVENT ANTIPHONS
Anonymous C.1390
Huelgas Ensemble
Paul Van Nevel - director

Deutsche Harmonia Mundi