Season after Pentecost, 2023
I can't stand it any more, so I'm going to repeat the antics of three years ago and offer predictions for this year's Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols at King's College, Cambridge. This service is, perhaps, the single most famous annual church service in the world.
Our think-tank believes that it's largely a year of conservative choices, but there's a lot of the service that we simply won't guess about. Therefore . . .
We at Sinden.org predict the following.
The service will begin with "Once in royal David's city". Enough said.
Either Darke's "In the bleak midwinter" or Pearsall's "In dulci jubilo" will be heard as the Invitatory Carol. Just a hunch, though not a very good one since I've tried to cover my bases with two pieces.
The first carol after the First lesson will be "Remember, O thou man" by Ravenscroft. It doesn't seem like there are many choices for this slot, and I bet it's back to this staple this year.
The second carol after the First Lesson will be Peter Warlock's setting of "Adam lay ybounden". We're overdue for this setting which was last heard in 2006.
If it is not sung as the Invitatory, we will hear "In dulci jubilo" after the Second Lesson. Though it was not sung at all in 2002, this carol has been a regular for every other year since 1997.
The hymn after the Third Lesson will be "O little town of Bethlehem". Last sung in 2007, we had been on a rotation with "Unto us" and "God rest ye". This pattern was broken with a duplicate "God rest ye" last year, so I suspect we get back on the rota this year.
I'm going to call a double bill after the Fourth Lesson: The Lamb by
Taverner Tavener and "A spotless rose" by Howells. We've heard a lot of Sandstrom lately, and I think it's a return to these two favorites this year.
I bet we'll get some Liszt after the Sixth Lesson. It's a Liszt year, and I think a little Salve Regina, or the like would be fun.
If I have to listen to that Mack Wilberg carol again, I will not be excited about it. The novelty has worn off for me.
Only time will tell if we've been right about any of these. The Sinden.org staff is refreshing the appropriate webpage constantly.
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