The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is launching a new recording initiative, beginning with the release of an album for Christmas, including five world premiere recordings, on its own label. Although the world-famous choir has released more than 100 albums for EMI and Decca, the new label will enable the group to ‘spread its wings in terms of recordings,’ according to director of music Stephen Cleobury, and to ‘record more adventurous repertoire’.
The first disc of ‘Nine Lessons & Carols’, based on the choir’s traditional Christmas Eve appearances in the chapel of King’s College Cambridge, features conventional works alongside freshly commissioned carols from the last six years by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Tansy Davies, Dominic Muldowney, Gabriel Jackson, Brett Dean and Einojuhani Rautavaara. Celebrated choral specialist John Rutter has also composed a new carol, All Bells in Paradise, especially for the album.
‘The Christmas Eve service from King’s College, Cambridge has a special resonance with people around the world; for many it heralds the start of Christmas,’ said Cleobury. ‘King’s is delighted to release this recording of “Nine Lessons & Carols”, which captures the spirit of the Christmas Eve service. Bringing specially commissioned carols onto disc underlines our mission to sustain and renew our great tradition at Christmas time.’
The new label’s second release is scheduled for spring 2013 – an exploration of Mozart’s Requiem, which will draw on ‘the scholarship and musicianship of King’s College as an educational institution’.
'Nine Lessons & Carols' is released on October 22, 2012.