King's College Choir, Cambridge - Christmas At King's

Published Wednesday 19th November 2008
King's College Choir, Cambridge - Christmas At King's
King's College Choir, Cambridge  - Christmas At King's

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 53553-14915

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

For many of us our religious celebration of the Nativity starts as we hear "Once In Royal David's City" at the opening of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge as broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The Choir's latest release, adding to an already rich catalogue of recordings for EMI and Decca, aims to continue the tradition of this historic institution. The 16 choristers and 14 choral scholars - some as young as nine - sing superbly although, regrettably, I found the quality of the recording less impressive. There are 50 Christmas hymns and carols on the two discs, plus a closing Organ Voluntary ("In Dulci Jubilo") so there is every possibility your own favourite is here. Of the named composers/arrangers it is David Willcocks who takes most credit with a hand in 17 of the festive 50 followed by John Rutter with five. Thus we have two selling points: this is a genuinely comprehensive collection but the highly accomplished arrangements make even the oldest favourite sound fresh. My only caveat is that with a choir as prolific as King's and with traditional material such as this you may find that you already own many of these recordings or at least versions that are pretty much the same.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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