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King's - Nine Lessons and Carols


Martin Cooke
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Just caught up with the Radio Times  and the order of service for Christmas Eve at King's. It look very interesting with some new arrangements of carols/hymns in the offing by Daniel Hyde and others. It says that, without a congregation, opportunity has been taken for more choir arrangements of the usual congregational items. But, I am surprised to see that Matthew Martin is listed as the organist for the occasion instead of an organ scholar and can't help wondering what this is about. 

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8 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

Just caught up with the Radio Times  and the order of service for Christmas Eve at King's. It look very interesting with some new arrangements of carols/hymns in the offing by Daniel Hyde and others. It says that, without a congregation, opportunity has been taken for more choir arrangements of the usual congregational items.

It looks as though the last verse of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” this year will be an arrangement by David Hill.  Also by him “Away in a Manger”.

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9 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Two, perhaps three, Christmases ago the Willcocks arrangement of Adeste Fideles was sung at the ‘midnight’ services in St Peter’s Rome and the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, followed by Westminster Abbey on Christmas morning, all televised, in the space of twelve hours.

Ker-ching!

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On 13/12/2020 at 18:18, David Surtees said:

I know many places do not have organ scholars this year, because of the pandemic. But I’d be astonished if Kings was among them. 
I hadn’t realised that Matthew Martin was now at Gonville & Caius. 

Kings certainly has an organ scholar - Christopher Too.  Worth looking at his recent online recital at Bridlington Priory (his home town):

 

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Oh gosh... and new announcements on the King's website say that two choral scholars have had to self-isolate and The King's Singers have been in at very short notice to help with the recorded tv service, and that they will be using a new recording of 9 L&Cs for the Christmas Eve radio broadcast. It seems that they had foreseen the possibility of last minute difficulty and made a recording just in case. I do feel very sorry for everyone involved. Choristers have had a really tough time, I think, since first lockdown. A whole generation left their choirs in July without a proper send-off, and now the top boys at King's aren't getting this most memorable of events. I know it isn't the end of life as we know it, but it's sad for them.

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Slightly off-topic, I suppose, but in past years I have made two or three TV recordings of the 9 L&C, which is fortunate as I don't pay the TV licence any more, so I couldn't watch the live programme even if they were going to show it.
Some excellent choices of music, of course.

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3 hours ago, John Robinson said:

I have made two or three TV recordings of the 9 L&C

Apologies for being pedantic, but the recorded televised service (Carols from King's) does not have nine readings, nor are they all from scripture.

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8 hours ago, wolsey said:

Apologies for being pedantic, but the recorded televised service (Carols from King's) does not have nine readings, nor are they all from scripture.

I only watched it once, and thought it was a poor comparison to the actual service as broadcast on radio. Some excellent individual items, as would be expected, but the overall experience felt lacking. 
No longer have a TV license so can’t watch it anyway, but won’t particularly miss it. 

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21 hours ago, wolsey said:

Apologies for being pedantic, but the recorded televised service (Carols from King's) does not have nine readings, nor are they all from scripture.

True, but the recordings I have are of what I have always referred to as the Nine Lessons and Carols.  I'm really not sure whether the 'lessons' are actually lessons or readings, as they are of little interest to me.  It's the music I like.

 

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13 hours ago, MikeK said:

I would be interested to know how you managed to record the King's Service if you don't have a licence?

I cancelled my BBC Tax earlier this year.  I have recorded Nine Lessons and Carols several times over the past years.  I particularly like certain carols which crop up now and again.  To be perfectly honest, I don't really listen to the lessons (or readings!).

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11 hours ago, John Robinson said:

I cancelled my BBC Tax earlier this year.  I have recorded Nine Lessons and Carols several times over the past years.  I particularly like certain carols which crop up now and again.  To be perfectly honest, I don't really listen to the lessons (or readings!).

Forum members may not be aware that, without a TV licence, you cannot legally watch any live television online, including Now TV, Amazon Prime or YouTube live streams of broadcasts.  The restriction is not limited to BBC i-player. 

A licence is not required to listen to BBC Radio or BBC Sounds which are, of course, paid for by those of us who spend less than 50p per day on the cost of the licence.  For comparison, the cost of the Times newspaper is £2 per day (£1.10 for subscribers).

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On 20/12/2020 at 09:46, David Surtees said:

I only watched it once, and thought it was a poor comparison to the actual service as broadcast on radio. Some excellent individual items, as would be expected, but the overall experience felt lacking. 
No longer have a TV license so can’t watch it anyway, but won’t particularly miss it. 

The programme is deliberately different from the radio broadcast as it is aimed at a different audience.  From a conversation with the producer of this year's TV broadcast a couple of days ago, I understand the overall result this year is quite different, because of the lack of a congregation and the participation of the King's Singers, but is thought to be good.  

Edited by john carter
typo
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15 hours ago, John Robinson said:

True, but the recordings I have are of what I have always referred to as the Nine Lessons and Carols.

 

This is getting confusing. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is precisely what it says and broadcast on the radio. What are the "two or three TV recordings of the 9 L&C" and the "Nine Lessons and Carols" you refer to? The only Christmas TV broadcasts from King's are as I mentioned earlier: fewer than nine readings, not lessons. The BBC and the College have been trying to correct this misconception about these discrete broadcasts for decades.

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46 minutes ago, michaelwilson said:

I think King's should have an online honesty box. £1 required from anyone who says they always listen to Carols from King's in Canada on the radio, or watch the live 9LC service on Christmas Eve etc..

King’s Cambridge must be the richest of all our choral foundations. They must get significant recording royalties not to mention the TV fees or their belonging to one of inevitably the richest educational institutions in the world.

If the point was to encourage donations to some fair balanced committee such as “Friends of Cathedral Music” I can see your point as very reasonable.

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