The world-famous Choir of King’s College Cambridge is the soundtrack to Christmas for millions of listeners around the world every year. This Christmas, for the first time ever, some of the choir’s most beloved Christmas recordings can be heard accompanied by brand new magical string arrangements.
Christmas Carols at King’s is a new Decca release featuring historic carol recordings of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge with new, beautiful string arrangements. Listeners will experience beloved recordings, recorded in the majestic King’s College chapel between 1958 and 1984, as never before, supported by the world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Nine Lessons and Carols, the choir’s annual Christmas broadcast since 1918, has been described by the New York Times as a “broadcasting phenomenon”, reaching an estimated annual audience of 370 million listeners. The carols featured on this release are among the most celebrated and commercially successful Christmas choral recordings ever made. They feature the choir under the directorship of Sir David Willcocks and Sir Stephen Cleobury and featuring Sir Andrew Davis, Simon Preston CBE and David Briggs.
Sir David Willcocks himself arranged several of these carols for strings and these arrangements are given their world recording premiere on this release – an extraordinary moment given the huge impact Willcocks has had on the English choral Christmas tradition. His immensely popular 100 Carols for Choirs book of arrangements forms the basis of countless carol services around the UK every year.
Alongside Harold Darke’s familiar arrangement of In The Bleak Midwinter for choir and strings, additional orchestral arrangements come from James Morgan, who conducts the RPO, and Juliette Pochin.
These timeless recordings of matchless performances have been venerated for decades, setting a benchmark for how the nation’s best-loved carols should be sung. Now, with strings adding another layer of enchantment, they can be relished anew. Here is the true sound of Christmas.