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Some of Benjamin Britten's music is quite challenging to the innocent ear - like the operas for example. But here we have a quite delightful CD of choral music, all of which is immediately accessible to provide enjoyment for anyone unfamiliar with Britten's musical idiom. The longest work is the Ceremony of Carols, composed in 1942 - a collection of nine medieval or Renaissance carols. There is a Procession at the start, a Recession at the end, and a lovely all-too-short interlude for solo harp. Britten was born on St. Cecilia's Day, 22 November, in 1913, so the Hymn to St. Cecilia must have had special significance for him. Rejoice in the Lamb is a short Festival Cantata that was commissioned in 1943 for the consecration of St. Matthew's Church in Northampton, England, by their music-loving vicar, Walter Hussey. Hussey subsequently became Dean of Chichester Cathedral and had a hand in commissioning Bernstein's Chichester Psalms.

There are three more short works on the CD: the Te Deum in C, Jubilate Deo for organ, and the Missa Brevis in D, dedicated to George Malcolm after Britten heard a performance of his Ceremony of Carols under Malcolm's direction. The choir on this CD is that of King's College, Cambridge, directed by David Willcocks or Philip Ledger. An inspirational and joyous 70 min of music.
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on 12 January 2016
A useful disc when learning to sing A Ceremony of Carols
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on 17 December 2014
A must have for Christmas. The work is wonderful, easy to appreciate, full of mystery and just a bit spooky in places, with joy and sweetness of nativity too. Old English is fun to get your head round. I love Britten's work, not always a great fan of boys voices (that's just me) ..but this is a perfect combination. So it is writted it in a book !
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on 5 June 2015
A haunrtingly beautiful rendering of this much loved Britten work. Recommended.
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on 3 January 2015
Lovely, we sang this at school over 50 years ago.
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on 1 January 2017
Beautiful recording and very good value CD
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on 18 October 2013
4 part harmony was outstanding and provided me with the knowledge required to sing this for the local concert given by our choral society.
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on 5 December 2011
Bought for choral rehearsal and it is a great help.
This Kings College Choir recording as always is a great joy.
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on 3 March 2016
Excellent!
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