Are you looking for a Christmas gift that is contemporary and fresh, but also rooted in the traditions of Christmas? Where better to turn than to Truro, the home of the ‘Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols’?
Truro Cathedral Choir’s new CD, All the World Tonight Rejoices, is available now from the Cathedral Shop. The selection of carols takes in previously unrecorded repertoire (nine tracks) alongside other outstanding contemporary carols and reclothings of familiar favourites.
Director of Music, Christopher Gray, writes:
Since the first ‘Nine Lessons’ took place on 24th December 1880, the service has been an annual highlight in Truro, with people coming from far and wide to experience the Christmas story told in words and music. My predecessor as Director of Music at Truro Cathedral, Robert Sharpe, instigated the tradition that the choir premieres a new carol at this special service each year. Over the years, we have been fortunate to work with some of the UK’s most gifted composers, including a number from here in Cornwall, and several of our commissions are featured here. These Truro pieces appear alongside a number of contemporary carols that are particularly enjoyed by our choir and those attending our services and concerts; most have links with Truro, but some are simply included because we love them.
It’s not an accident that most items are unaccompanied: we find that when the building is completely full, as it is for our big Christmas services, the choir has to work harder than normal to project from the choir stalls into the nave, and the organ only makes that task more difficult; I have therefore cultivated a Christmas repertoire that is mostly unaccompanied, with some notable and wonderful exceptions such as the five accompanied items in this collection. We have included two organ solos so that our celebrated Father Willis organ is well represented.
I need to record here my gratitude to Regent Records and to all members of the choir for what they have achieved in making this recording with social distancing and other measures still in place as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope you will find that the music-making and the way it is captured transcend the significant practical hurdles.