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On Christmas Day


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Audio CD, October 4, 2005
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. The Shepherd's CarolChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Daniel Hyde 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. On Christmas Day to my HeartChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. God would be born in theeChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Tom Winpenny 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Bogoróditse Dyévo (Mother of God and Virgin)Choir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The AngelsChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. In WintertimeChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Christmas CarolChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Ashley Grote 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Three KingsChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. What Sweeter MusicChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Ashley Grote 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. A GatheringChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Illuminare, JerusalemChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. One star, at lastChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Carol for St StevenChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Fergus Thirwell/Edward Grint 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Birthday of thy KingChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Winter Solstice CarolChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Philippa Davies 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Seinte Mari moder mildeChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Oliver Brett 7:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The GleamChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Christo Paremus CanticaChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Spring in WinterChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Fayrfax CarolChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Swete JesuChoir of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Pilgrim JesusChoir Of King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Tom Winpenny 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 

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The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, owes its existence to King Henry VI who, in founding the College in 1441, envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent chapel, one of the jewels of Britain’s cultural and architectural heritage. This remains the Choir’s raison d’être, and is an important part of the lives of its sixteen choristers, and the ... Read more in Amazon's King's College Choir Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Edward Grint, Thomas Ades, Richard Rodney Bennett, Sir Lennox Berkeley, Judith Bingham, et al.
  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000B66PO8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,447 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

In time for the holiday season is a new EMI classics recording of Christmas carols commissioned especially for the Choir of King's College, Cambridge for the annual 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols' held in the chapel and broadcast on television and radio worldwide. 2 CD set. 2005.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on December 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I am immensely fond of the various Christmas albums put out by the Choir of King's College at the University of Cambridge. They represent the English tradition at its finest. I especially like the variants of the 9 Lessons and Carols in which biblical lessons are interspersed with the choral renditions. This tradition relates back to 1918 and has been broadcast(and telecast) worldwide since 1928, so I am not alone in my appreciation. This album presents an entirely new body of music in that it contains newer and unfamiliar compositions, some of which have been commissioned in past years for this program. There are 15 selections on the first disk and 7 on the second disk. Like any selection, some of the cuts are better than others, but all are quite beautiful. Whether any will become classics of the caliber of the more established material remains to be seen. But with Stephen Cleobury in charge, as he has been since 1982, long-time fans of the Choir know that a solid and quite enjoyable musical package awaits--especially at this holiday time of year.
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Format: Audio CD
This is definitely not a CD of traditional Christmas Carols, but I feel it's a little harsh to claim that only two pieces on the entire recording are "melodic". Frankly, I don't even know what that means. To my ears all of the compositions here have what can be called a melody. Personally, I adore the "Fayrfax Carol" by Thomas Ades and cannot see how it would fail to fall under even the most close-minded definition of the word "melodic".

I agree with the previous reviewer that many of the pieces are harmonically abstract but, honestly, what do you expect from a CD of music written by contemporary composers for one of the finest choirs in the world? I would hope there would be no arrangements of "I Saw Three Ships".

If you're looking for a CD of traditional carols, there is no shortage of recordings. However, if you're looking for well-crafted, forward-thinking, modern compositions performed by a group on the cutting edge of choral music, look no further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David C. Young on October 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What's admirable?

Let's start with the musicality of the King's College choir and the beauty of their Christmas Eve "Lessons & Carols". This service began in the ruins of WWI -- a devastation we Yanks barely know. Now it's broadcast all over the world, celebrating something new & better through something longstanding and traditional. (The choir and the glorious chapel date back 500 years.) It's an admirable pairing.

I find the King's College Choir particularly admirable for Christmas. The choir is made up of young voices -- children & college youths. They have a special, fresh sound. (The album's first carol, "The Shepherd's Carol", shows off these young voices particularly well.) I love pairing Christmas music with children & youth -- and not only because they're celebrating the birth of a baby. Leonard Bernstein once said that he wrote for children's voices when he wanted to add hope and possibility. That fits here, too.

The carols on this album, however, are not traditional. When Stephen Cleobury took over the choir in 1982, he decided that each Christmas Eve service would have one new, specially-commissioned carol. As Cleobury said, "This would be a very good way of bringing new music to a large audience and of making a statement about the importance of nourishing a great tradition with new growth." Again, thoroughly admirable.

This album is the harvest of twenty-two years, one new carol per year. All of them are here.

For Yanks, perhaps something needs to be said about the English meaning of "carol". In the States, carol means a melody easily sung by anyone who can sing, even barely sing. For the English, carol means music sung at Christmas. In the States, these carols would be called "anthems" -- music sung by a choir.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tyhee88 on December 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD
In the 20th century classical music took what I refer to as an atonal turn, while others may refer to it by other names, perhaps twelve tone.

Usually I wouldn't downgrade a disk in the ratings merely because of my taste in the genre. Here, however, I was expecting what I usually think of as Christmas music, namely pleasant melodies, but those weren't to be found in these two disks. The first disk was alright, though I wouldn't choose it. The second was less approachable both to me and to my wife, who usually has more of a taste for 20th century classical music but who asked me to stop the second disk.

The choir and recorded sound are too good to rate the disk any lower than 3 stars, but for me it is in the discard pile.

Those who like such composers as Shostakovch and Stravinsky (or Schoenborn, Webern and Alban Berg, to go further) might very well find these disks very much to their liking. Many of the pieces are not atonal, though I'd still consider them avant garde as Christmas music. Those who are looking for melodic Christmas music are better off looking at alternatives.
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