English Hymn Anthems

English Hymn Anthems

Arguably England’s most famous vocal ensemble, The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, is familiar to a global audience through its annual Christmas Eve radio broadcasts. Having existed in one form or another for more than 500 years, the choir has seen few deviations from its traditions, and a strict observance to its founding principles has assured continuity of excellence through the centuries. Established at the 1441 founding of King’s College by Henry VI, the choir comprises 14 adult and 16 boy choristers. Many fine singers, musicians and composers from the UK and beyond have passed through the choir’s ranks over the years, contributing to its long and illustrious history in the recording studio. For this album, the late Stephen Cleobury, director of music from 1982 to 2019, selects music from the Anglican tradition, including settings by Bairstow, Ireland, Wood and Parry, whose stirring Hear My Words, Ye People opens the programme. Trumpeter Alison Balsom joins the choristers and organist on the final track, Vaughan Williams’ setting of Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge, “Psalm 90”, complete with its magical inclusion of the hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” to the tune “St Anne”.

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