Choir of King's College Cambridge

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 Choir of King's College Cambridge

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245


James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Neal Davies (Christus), Sophie Bevan (soprano/Ancilla), Iestyn Davies (alto), Ed Lyon (tenor arias), Toby Ward (Servus), Benedict Kearns (Petrus), Roderick Williams (bass arias/Pilatus)

Academy of Ancient Music & King's College Choir Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury

Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge are joined by the Academy of Ancient Music in Bach’s much-loved St John Passion. Captured live in 2016 during Easter celebrations at the College, it features an all-star line-up of soloists who are renowned for their handling of the repertoire, including King’s alumnus James Gilchrist as The Evangelist and Neal Davies, Cardiff Singer of the World prize-winner, as Jesus.

The St John Passion presents the dramatic narrative with a concentrated sense of urgency, in contrast to the vast proportions of the St Matthew Passion. Many of the arias are deeply reflective and expressive, none more so than ‘Es ist vollbracht!’, in which the countertenor and the viola da gamba weave their melodies in a most beguiling way. The Choir’s recent release of the Duruflé Requiem was nominated for the 2017 International Classical Music awards, while 'Hymns from King’s', a collection of popular hymns arranged by Stephen Cleobury, was chosen by John Suchet as a Classic FM ‘Album of the Week’.

“'Herr und Herrscher' is delineated impeccably, with the AAM's graceful strings and perfectly balanced oboes giving nuanced support to the choir. James Gilchrist's compassionate Evangelist, Roderick Williams's animated 'Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen', Iestyn Davies's sublime 'Es ist vollbracht! and Sophie Bevan's lithesome 'Zerfliesse, mein Herze' will be sufficient reasons alone to persuade many of us to pick up a copy.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“Stephen Cleobury has been conducting this work for decades, and knows what he is doing when it comes to shaping Bach’s great phrases. The orchestra respond to him very well…and make a beautiful sound…the soloists are excellent” MusicWeb International, 18th April 2017

“Cleobury has assembled an unassailable team of soloists, whose powerful insights gild Neal Davies’s Jesus, a characterisation of immense presence and authority.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

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Jubilo

Jubilo

standard jewel case version


Bach, J S:

Chorale Prelude BWV729 'In dulci jubilo'

Chorale Preludes II, BWV645-650 'Schübler Chorales'

Cantata BWV147 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben': Jesu, bleibet meine Freude

Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury

Corelli:

Concerto grosso Op. 6 No. 8 in G minor 'fatto per la notte di Natale'

Fasch, J F:

Concerto in D for trumpet, 2 oboes, strings and continuo, FaWV L: D1

Torelli:

Sonata in D for Trumpet, strings & continuo


With this release Alison records on the natural trumpet for the first time since the hugely successful album Sound the Trumpet. Inspired by seasonal Baroque repertoire, the recording includes concertos by Bach, Corelli, Torelli, and Fasch performed with the Academy of Ancient Music under the direction of violinist Pavlo Besnosiuk. The Schübler Chorales and In dulce jubilo by Bach, performed in arrangements for trumpet and organ played here by Stephen Cleobury, act as a beautiful foil to the full orchestral sound of the concertos. Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring featuring Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge tops off this Christmas cracker of an album. This classy winter-themed album is a perfect core classical seasonal offering.

“The solo playing gleams with lustre, but the musical connections with Christmas are peripheral” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 ***

“True highlights are the Fasch and Torelli concertos, where we get to fully appreciate Balsam’s immaculate, singing-toned clarion playing to the full. Equally, I was held transfixed through her long, fluid and wonderfully shaped obbligato lines above the Choir of King’s College in ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring’…some wonderful moments” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

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Duruflé: Requiem

Duruflé: Requiem


Duruflé:

Requiem, Op. 9

Messe Cum Jubilo, Op. 11

Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, Op. 10


For this new recording the choir are reunited with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to perform Maurice Duruflé’s 1947 'Requiem', in the composer’s own version for soprano, choir, organ and small orchestra. The album is completed with the 'Messe Cum Jubilo' for male voices and the Four Motets, mirroring Fauré’s 'Messe Basse' for boys on the earlier album, to which this is very much a partner.

The most famous of the Four Motets is 'Ubi Caritas' (‘Where charity and love are, God is there), a staple of the choir’s Easter repertoire and which was sung at Downing Street when the choir attended the Prime Minister’s Easter reception in 2013.

The choir is joined by Patricia Bardon, youngest ever prize-winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, for the 'Pie Jesu' of the Requiem, with the other solo sections sung by the men of the choir in accordance with Duruflé’s instructions. Former choral scholar Ashley Riches, also a former member of the Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists programme, returns to the choir as soloist in the 'Messe Cum Jubilo'.

This recording represents the last time the organ at King’s was played before it was removed for substantial restoration.

“The unaccompanied Quatre Motets are neatly presented, if a touch glib and emotionally reticent. Probably the best performance here is of the Messe Cum Jubilo for baritones, where the singers’ familiarity with plainchant is again telling…there’s plenty of fire and interpretive detail in the singing” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 ****

“The choir and the King’s organ (played by Tom Etheridge) are beautifully caught in the famously generous chapel acoustics, tender and lyrical one moment, splendid and grand the next … the men of the choir produce a consistently warm, well-focused sound. A fine addition to the Duruflé discography and to King’s College’s expanding library of own-label recordings.” Choir & Organ, November/December 2016

“The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and Stephen Cleobury opt for the 1961 edition, joining forces with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and soloist Patricia Bardon (the baritone solos are performed by unison basses). The effect is often hazily beautiful, chords suspended in the air of King’s Chapel” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

“this is an excellent disc. The performances have been very well recorded and the documentation is good.” MusicWeb International, 17th October 2016

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Evensong Live 2016

Evensong Live 2016


Benjamin, G:

'Twas in the year that King Uzziah died

Gibbons, O:

This is the Record of John

Grier, F:

Magnificamus

Howells:

Magnificat (Gloucester, 1946)

Collegium Regale: Te Deum

Leighton:

Drop, Drop Slow Tears

Messiaen:

O sacrum convivium

Parry:

At the round earth’s imagined corners

Purcell:

Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z135

Stanford:

Evening Service in G, Op. 81: Magnificat

Tippett:

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense)

Tye:

Laudate nomen Domini

Vaughan Williams:

Valiant for Truth

Walton:

Jubilate Deo

Weir:

Vertue


Evensong Live 2016 is a selection of the best weekly webcasts recorded during the preceding academic year (2014-15). Real services at King’s College Chapel are recorded using a state-of-the-art recording system concealed in the roof, vestry and organ loft. Microphones are suspended discreetly above the choir stalls, recording each of the choir’s services and performances.

This album showcases the best performances during the year, as selected by the choir’s Director of Music, Stephen Cleobury, providing a cross-section of the daily music making at King’s, and capturing the atmosphere and acoustic of the Chapel. It serves as a snapshot of the choir at a specific moment in time and presents evensong as one of the jewels of our national heritage: not a relic, but a living and breathing part of our culture. The choir at King’s performs evensong six times a week, in addition to Sunday eucharist or matins, furnishing the liturgy with music on a daily basis. This tradition has fostered many of the greatest choirs, singers and organists in the world.

This selection of music This release joins the label’s other, critically-acclaimed, recordings including: 'English Hymn Anthems', a Gramophone Editor’s Choice; 'Fauré: Requiem', Classic FM Album of the Year 2014; and '1615: Gabrieli in Venice', the first classical album to utilise Dolby’s groundbreaking Atmos technology.

“There are many subtleties in this set of performances. The intimate interplay between the crystalline solo of treble Tom Hopkins and his fellow choristers in Stanford’s Magnificat is one of them … [Highlights include] Twas the year that King Uzziah died, a gripping setting by King’s alumnus George Benjamin, where tenor Toby Ward is an eloquent soloist.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2016 ****

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Hymns from King's

Hymns from King's


1 Thine be the glory [Maccabaeus] G F Handel

2 Alleluya, sing to Jesus [Hyfrydol] Richard Huw Pritchard

3 Angel-voices ever singing [Angel Voices] E G Monk

4 All creatures of our God and King [Lasst uns Erfreuen] R V Williams, based on Geistliche Kirchengesange

5 Love divine, all loves excelling [Blaenwern] William Rowlands

6 Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven [Praise my soul] John Goss

7 Now thank we all our God [Nun danket alle Gott] Johann Crüger

8 Glorious things of thee are spoken [Abbot’s leigh] Cyril Vincent Taylor

9 Let all mortal flesh keep silence [Picardy] French carol melody (Chansons Populaires, Vol. 4)

10 Jesus Christ is risen today [Easter Hymn] Adapted from Lyra Davidica

11 Lord of all hopefulness [Slane] Traditional Irish, harm. Erik Routley

12 Christians, awake, salute the happy morn [Yorkshire (Stockport)] John Wainwright

13 Abide with me [Eventide] W H Monk

14 As with gladness men of old [Dix] Conrad Kocher, arr. W H Monk

15 My song is love unknown [Love Unknown] John Ireland

16 O God, our help in ages past [St Anne] William Croft

17 O come, O come, Emmanuel! [Veni Emmanuel] 15th-century French melody

18 Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! [Nicaea] J B Dykes

19 Just as I am, without one plea [Saffron Walden] Arthur Henry Brown

20 Come, ye thankful people, come [St George’s, Windsor] George Elvey


Hymns from King’s' is a collection of hymn arrangements by Stephen Cleobury from the Peters Edition book of the same name. Covering the entire church year including Christmas and Easter, 'Hymns from King’s' contains arrangements, accompaniments and descants for some of the world’s most popular hymns as they are sung at King’s College. The release will be accompanied by an international press and marketing campaign and extensive touring and joins the label’s other critically-acclaimed recordings including 'English Hymn Anthems', a celebrated Fauré 'Requiem' [Recording of the Month in BBC Music Magazine] and '1615: Gabrieli in Venice': the first classical album ever to use Dolby’s new Atmos technology.

“Formidable tunes from across the liturgical year in engaging arrangements by choirmaster Stephen Cleobury. The choir’s diction and tuning are excellent.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2016 ****

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Carols from Kings

Carols from Kings

60th Anniversary Edition


1 Once in royal David’s city H Gauntlett & A Mann, desc. S Cleobury,

2 Up! good Christen folk Piae Cantiones arr. G R Woodward

3 A tender shoot O Goldschmidt, 4 Sussex Carol Traditional, arr. D Willcocks

5 Stille Nacht F Gruber, arr. S Cleobury, 6 In the bleak mid-winter G Holst

7 It came upon the midnight clear Traditional, arr. A Sullivan, desc. S Cleobury

8 Gabriel’s message Basque Traditional, arr. E Pettman Benedicamus Domino P Warlock

9 A spotless Rose H Howells, 10 Joys seven Traditional, arr. S Cleobury

11 God rest you merry, gentlemen Traditional, arr. D Willcocks, 12 The Lamb J Tavener

13 Ding! dong! merrily on high J Tabourot, arr. M Wilberg & P Stevens

14 Noël nouvelet French Traditional, arr. S Jackson

15 I saw three ships Traditional, arr. S Preston

16 The Three Kings P Cornelius, arr. I Atkins

17 A babe is born W Mathias

18 God is with us J Tavener

19 Hark! the herald-angels sing F Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, desc. S Cleobury

20 Von Himmel hoch, BWV 606 J S Bach


This DVD includes the full 2014 service and a 60-minute documentary detailing the history of this central component of the British Christmas tradition. Enjoyed in millions of homes each Christmas eve, 'Carols from King’s' is an enchanting hour and a half of choral worship, beginning with a lone chorister singing Gauntlett’s reverent 'Once in Royal David’s City' and concluding with the triumphant 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. This special edition includes '60 Years of Carols from King’s', a BBC documentary narrated by Juliet Stevenson, which charts the history of the service since 1954. The film gives an insight into the tradition of selecting the soloists for 'Once in Royal David’s City', what goes on behind the scenes, what life is like for a chorister in the Choir and the impact these experiences have on generations of choristers.

“It is a stirring, moving mix, steeped in tradition but with the purity, freshness and professionalism of the King’s choir to keep it poignantly alive.” The Telegraph, 23rd December 2015

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1615 Gabrieli in Venice

1615 Gabrieli in Venice


Gabrieli, G:

In ecclesiis a 14

Canzon Seconda a 6

Suscipe, clementissime Deus à 12

Hodie completi sunt dies pentecostes

Jubilate Deo 10vv

Canzon Terza a 6

Quem vidistis pastores a 14

Sonata XXI con tre violini

Exsutavit cor meum in Domino a 6

Surrexit Christus a 11

Canzone prima a 5

Litaniae Beatissimae Mariae Virginis

Magnificat a14


Much of Giovanni Gabrieli’s music was composed for grand ceremonial occasions. 2015 marks not just the 400th anniversary of the publication of this collection of works from 1615, but also the 500th anniversary of the completion of King’s College Chapel. The Choir celebrates these anniversaries with the first classical album ever to use Dolby’s new Atmos technology, which uses ceiling-mounted speakers to reproduce the acoustics of the Chapel with unprecedented realism. This recording pays homage to one of the most influential musicians of the Venetian Renaissance from within one of the great buildings of the English Renaissance. As well as being principal organist at St Mark’s Basilica, Gabrieli was a prolific composer of sacred vocal and instrumental music. The early brass ensembles for which Gabrieli composed are no longer to be found performing in St Mark’s Basilica, but this tradition is alive and well in Cambridge. The Choir is joined by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts playing faithful recreations of instruments from Gabrieli’s time. The Choir is one of Britain’s oldest musical institutions, but has always been committed to innovation in pursuit of excellence. This, the first classical album to be mixed and released using Dolby’s new Atmos technology, provides a three-dimensional experience like no other: the new surround sound-encoding includes height information as well as width and depth to offer a truly immersive sound experience. This recording will be released in both SACD and Pure Audio Blu-ray formats.

“The choral sound is candid and transparent, the lower, adult voices sensitively balanced so as not to swamp the delicate timbre of the boy choristers. His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts offer flawless, vocally-inspired ensemble playing, their plangent wind instruments gleaming and glimmering like the gold mosaics in San Marco” BBC Music Magazine, February 2016 ****

“an exciting recording of this consistently brilliant music.” Early Music Today, March/May 2016

“His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts (yes that is a 'g') are well known for their expert playing of the fiercely difficult Renaissance cornett and the more easily handled trombone-like sackbutt. Within the spacious acoustic of Kings College Chapel they sound both lyrical and grand as required and when joining the voices the resultant polyphony is quite glorious to hear.” MusicWeb International, January 2016

“The posthumously published Symphoniae Sacrae collection contains the most magnificent music from Venice in the early 17th century. This choice selection includes, besides works such as the 14-part In ecclesiis and the 10-part Jubilate Deo, Hugh Keyte’s luxuriant reconstruction of the unfinished Quem vidistis pastores. Stephen Cleobury’s forces give opulent readings.” Sunday Times, 15th November 2015

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Evensong Live 2015

Evensong Live 2015


Alain:

Litanies, AWV100

Gorecki:

Totus Tuus, Op. 60

Mendelssohn:

Hear My Prayer

Parry:

Hear my words, ye people

Parsons, R:

Ave Maria

Poulenc:

Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël

Tallis:

Loquebantur variis linguis

Videte miraculum

Vaughan Williams:

Five Mystical Songs: Antiphon


Evensong Live 2015 is drawn from the best of the Choir’s weekly webcasts recorded during the preceding academic year (2013-2014).

The recordings are made during real services, using a state-of-the-art recording system concealed in the roof, vestry and organ loft, with microphones suspended above the choir stalls and organ. Webcasts are posted every Saturday, and are available online at: http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/choir/webcasts.html.

This album includes a selection of the best performances captured during the year, as selected by the Choir’s Director of Music, Stephen Cleobury. The Choir at King’s performs evensong six times a week, in addition to Sunday eucharist or matins, furnishing the liturgy with music on a daily basis.

This tradition has fostered many of the greatest choirs, singers and organists in the world.

These eighty minutes provide a cross section of some of the everyday music making that happens at King’s, capturing the atmosphere and acoustic of the Chapel. It serves as a snapshot of the choir at a specific moment in time, and presents evensong as one of the jewels of our national heritage, not a relic, but a living and breathing part of our culture.

This release joins the label’s other critically-acclaimed recordings. Mozart Requiem Realisations received ****Performance ****Recording from BBC Music Magazine. The celebrated Fauré Requiem received Recording of the Month from BBC Music Magazine, a **** review from Choir & Organ, Outstanding from International Record Review and No. 1 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart.

“standards such as Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer set alongside Poulenc’s acrobatically difficult Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël and works by Tallis, Parsons, Parry and others, all sung with the precision and grace that make this choir world famous.” The Guardian

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English Hymn Anthems

English Hymn Anthems


Bairstow:

Blessed City, heavenly Salem

Davies, Walford:

O sons and daughters

Dyson:

Three Songs Of Praise: No. 1 'Praise'

Harris, W:

O what their joy and their glory must be

Ireland:

Vexilla Regis

Parry:

Hear my words, ye people

Chorale Preludes (7), Set 2: 'Eventide'

Stanford:

O for a closer walk with God, Op. 113 No. 6

Vaughan Williams:

Prelude on 'Rhosymedre'

Lord, Thou has been our refuge

Whitlock, P:

Jesu, grant me this I pray

Wood, C:

God omnipotent reigneth


The first release of 2015 from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge presents the choir singing anthems based on hymn tunes from the Anglican choral tradition.

'English Hymn Anthems' continues the choir’s active commitment to expanding the popular understanding of choral repertoire through original research and recording. Highlights include Parry’s epic' Hear my words, ye people' and 'Lord, Thou has been our refuge' by Vaughan Williams, featuring the trumpeter Alison Balsom. It provides at once a survey of traditional services at King’s College Chapel and a window into the little-known form of the hymn-anthem. The album joins the label’s other critically-acclaimed recordings including the chart-topping 'Favourite Carols from King’s', debut release 'Nine Lessons and Carols', which reached number 2 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart, 'Mozart Requiem Realisations', and the celebrated Fauré 'Requiem' which received Recording of the Month from BBC Music Magazine, number 4 on Classic FM’s Albums of 2014 and an IRR Outstanding from International Record Review. The album’s release will be accompanied by an extensive international press and marketing campaign. At the end of March 2015, the choir will embark on a tour of the United States, performing a repertoire of sacred choral music including repertoire from this album.

King’s College Choir owes its existence to King Henry VI, who envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent chapel; the 16 choristers are educated at King’s College School, whilst the 14 choral scholars and two organ scholars study a variety of subjects in the College. This remains the Choir’s raison d’être, but its worldwide fame and reputation, enhanced by its many recordings and broadcasts, has led to high-profile performances around the world. The highlight of the choral year is the worldwide live radio broadcast of the renowned Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and the television broadcasts of Carols from King’s and Easter from King’s.

“The King's performance [of the Parry] is predictably idiomatic, if a touch carefully preened and respectful...[Ireland's] is a more explicitly dramatic setting, and the singers seem to relish this...Parker Ramsay's organ accompaniment is a model of intelligent supportiveness.” BBC Music Magazine, Awards Issue 2015 ****

“The airy acoustic of the chapel coupled with the fine Harrison & Harrison (mostly) organ help to define a peculiarly and uniquely English sound, especially suited to the repertoire on this fine disc...this is King's playing to its considerable strengths at all levels” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2015

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Carols from King's

Carols from King's


'Carols from King’s' is a cornerstone of the BBC’s Christmas programming output, traditionally shown on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Along with the live radio broadcast of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, this pre-recorded special service features favourite carols and lessons from one of the world’s top choral groups in the spectacular setting of King’s College Chapel. Available on DVD for the first time, this recording features the full service recorded shortly before its broadcast in December 2013.

2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Carols from King’s - an occasion marked by the broadcast on Christmas eve of a 60-minute documentary on the history of the service, immediately preceding the 2014 service, as well as the broadcast of a restored version of the first 'Carols from King’s', recorded in 1954 with Boris Ord conducting.

The DVD’s release will be accompanied by an extensive international press and marketing campaign. The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge will perform alongisde the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Bach’s Magnificat at The Chapel, Cambridge, on the 12th November 2014, and again at the Barbican, London, on the 6th December 2014, conducted by Stephen Cleobury. On the 16th and 17th December the Choir and Stephen Cleobury will appear in Edinburgh, Usher Hall, performing Christmas music including Poulenc’s 'Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël'.

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is one of the world’s foremost choirs and unquestionably among the most widely heard. It owes its existence to King Henry VI, who envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent chapel. This remains the Choir’s raison d’être, and is an important part of the lives of its 16 choristers, who are educated at King’s College School, and the 14 choral scholars and two organ scholars, who study a variety of subjects in the College. The Choir has produced numerous professional singers including James Gilchrist, Christopher Purves and Gerald Finley.

Booklet with notes in English, French and German, and a reproduction of the original service booklet with carol texts.

“I recommend this strongly.” International Record Review, December 2014

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