2018 marks the 100th anniversary of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, the service that takes place every year on Christmas Eve in King's College Chapel. It is broadcast each year around the world on BBC radio and other national radio stations. In celebration of the anniversary of this iconic service, King's has today released on its own label a special two-part album featuring a mix of brand-new performances and historical recordings not heard since the original BBC broadcasts.
The first part of this landmark album tells the story of the service’s long history, featuring Directors of Music David Willcocks, Philip Ledger and Stephen Cleobury in recordings spanning from 1958 to 2017. A selection of traditional favourites are accompanied by world premiere performances of contemporary carols, commissioned by the College from leading contemporary composers, including Judith Weir, Arvo Pärt and Thomas Adès.
The second part of the album features brand-new recordings by today’s choir, including Tavener's The Lamb, We Three Kings, and O Holy Night alongside works by James Whitbourne, Francis Jackson and Richard Elfyn Jones.