Festival of Nine Readings & Carols with MusiCórum conducted by Geoff Spratt
In 1880 E. W. Benson, then Bishop of Truro in Cornwall, drew up a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, based on ancient sources, for use on Christmas Eve in the wooden shed that served as his cathedral. In 1918 this was adapted for use in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge by its Dean, Eric Milner-White, and has become famous throughout the world because the BBC broadcasts it, live, every year on 24 December. The traditional nine biblical Lessons trace the story from the beginning of creation to the birth of Jesus. For MusiCórum’s performances this Christmas, Seán McGann has curated nine poetic meditations on some of the underlying themes inherent in the biblical readings. MusiCórum will perform carols by J. S. Bach, H. Darke, Bernat Vivancos, and B. Britten, together with arrangements by D. Willcocks and John Rutter. All present will sing popular carols, and Niamh Murray & Seán McGann will read poems and prose by G. M. Hopkins, G. Herbert, E. W. Wilcox, H. Vaughan, S. Ó Riordáin, John of the Cross, A. Tennyson, and T. S. Eliot.