By David Sinden
I wrote an article about this yesterday, but my editor said it was tl;dr. Here's the cool kid version.
You can listen to a live broadcast recording of the 1962 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Spotify. The service was directed by David Willcocks. Here's what to listen for.
Notice anything? Yes, it's the right hymn. Yes, it begins with a treble solo. But, wait, where's the descant? There isn't one.
The famous Willcocks descant may not have even been written yet. It bears a copyright date of 1970, eight years after this service took place.
In the hymn "God rest ye merry, gentlemen" the word "wind" is sung to rhyme with "mind" in the lines of the third stanza, something which is not done at King's (or anywhere that we know of) today.
The shepherds at those tidings Rejoiced much in mind, And left their flocks a-feeding In tempest, storm and wind,
I would never tell my choir to sing it that way.
Nowadays you really have to have your radio cranked up to hear the very soft pitches given by the organ before the choir sings. But not so in 1962. The organ plays the first phrase to remind them exactly how it goes, and the registration isn't always very subtle.
The organist introduces the hymns in the typical way. But when it comes time to sing the organ plays a chord a full beat before the singing begins. Every time. What is that about?
It's not a carol you know. You probably haven't heard it before. It's not a carol that anyone seems to know, and I don't think it's been sung very much since 1962. I believe it was written by Christopher Morris (1922–2014).
read the full version of this article: An in-depth listen to a recording of the 1962 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the purple (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.