Thursday, December 9, 2010

What can I say? It’s that time of year again...

A couple of posts back you heard Christina Rossetti’s poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” sung by the Gloucester Cathedral choir. The tune, known as CRANHAM, was written by Gustav Holst in 1906.

A different musical setting of the same text was written more recently by Harold Darke, and in 2008 it was voted the greatest Christmas carol of all time in a poll of choral experts and choirmasters. Here it is:

“In the Bleak Midwinter” (musical setting by Harold Darke), sung by Kings College Choir, Cambridge (4:18)

I think both versions are absolutely beautiful.

Here are some more numbers by the Kings College Choir from their 2008 Christmas concert. If you don’t have 24 minutes, 59 seconds right now to listen to all of them at one sitting, choose a favorite or two and come back later for the rest:

“Once In Royal David’s City” (4:29)

“Sussex Carol” arr. by Philip Ledger (1:55)

“The Holly and the Ivy” arr. H. Walford Davies (2:45)

“Angels From the Realms of Glory” arr. Philip Ledger (2:50)

“What Sweeter Music” John Rutter (4:06)

“The First Nowell” arr. David Willcocks (4:31)

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” arr. by Stephen Cleobury (4:23)

I hope you enjoy the Kings College Choir as much as I always do. But even if nobody listens to them but me, I will still be happy.


  1. I'll have to come back and listen to these when Peggy is awake. No doubt but what she will want to hear them too.

  2. what is the dif between the king's college choir and the king singers, bob?????????

  3. Snowbrush, I hope you and Peggy enjoy the music.

    Mr. Barlow, a.k.a. Putz, sir, Kings College Choir is a group of students attending the Kings College part of Cambridge University in England. The King's Singers are six adult men from England who have no connection with Cambridge but have performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Utah. The King Sisters (Maxine, Luise, Alyce, Donna, and Yvonne) were Mormons from Utah who had no connection with either Cambridge University or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, other than their being Mormon. Martin Luther King, as far as I have been able to determine, had no connection with any of the others.