Advent Carols from King’s College London

Every December, over a thousand people attend the Advent carol service in the Chapel of King’s College London, which is repeated over three nights to meet demand.

This album offers a snapshot of one such service, with its characteristic mix of plainchant, seasonal hymns and polyphony old and new. The Great O Antiphons (sung according to medieval Sarum practice) provide the backbone, pointing inexorably towards the Christmas birth.

A brace of premiere recordings centres on composers with personal connections to King’s College, and is complemented by current Professor of Composition George Benjamin’s rarely heard setting of a prophetic text after Isaiah. It intensifies the mood of heightened expectation proper to this very special season, and reminds us that something truly extraordinary is about to happen.

"A beautifully atmospheric recording of the Advent service"

"This year has brought a swing towards the solemnity and expectation of Advent, of which this release is the finest exponent … I like this, because it’s programmed with focus right down to its functional title … O Radix Jesse radiates harmonic interest yet feels fundamentally timeless."

"This recording has atmosphere and intimacy…if, like me, you get a little tired of the ‘souped up’ Christmas musical fare that often gets served up in new releases at this time of year, this disc will prove a perfect antidote and offer an ideal musical preparation for the Christmas season."

Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): All Hallows’ Church, London NW3
Recording dates: 8 - 10 April 2019
Physical format: Jewel Case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 21
Release date: 25 October 2019
Album ID: DCD34226
Total playing time: 1:04:56

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