Each morning between December 18 and January 1, BBC Radio 3’s “Breakfast” will be playing a carol specially recorded by the BBC Singers. Of the 15, four will be world premieres and 12 will be broadcast for the first time.
Among the composers involved are Sir John Tavener who has set a poem by Blake (December 24), Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (December 23) and Carl Rütti (December 19), as well as 16-year-old Kristina Arakelan who triumphed at the 2010 Proms Inspire competition for young composers. Her carol, New Year (to be sung, not surprisingly, on January 1) will be receiving its performance and broadcast premieres.
The BBC Singers will perform all the carols and for two – Sir David Willcocks’s much-loved arrangement of We saw three ships (December 25) and Peter Cornelius’s The Three Kings (December 31) – will be joined by a 400-voice amateur choir. The BBC Singers will be directed by their principal guest conductor Bob Chilcott who himself has arranged the Sussex Carol which can be heard on December 26.
The carols will be played on “Breakfast” – hosted by Rob Cowan, Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Martyn Handley – at about 7.50am each morning.