New Release from Lichfield Cathedral Choir
Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols is a go-to Christmas Classic, and this beautiful new recording from Lichfield Cathedral Choir, with Katie Salomon on harp, is not to be missed.
Captivating solos are sung by Josie Sim, the winning girl in BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2020, and choral scholars Sophie Oakley and Poppy Da Costa. This is the first recording of the ‘new cathedral choir which now offers equal opportunities to boys and girls from ages 7-18, with three distinct sections – girl choristers, boy choristers, and choral scholars (soprano, alto, tenor and bass). Every Thursday the senior choristers join with the soprano choral scholars for Evensong and it was apparent from the outset that this was going to be an exciting new sound.
Ben Lamb, Director of Music, said “This has long been one of my favourite Christmas pieces and I felt it was the perfect time to showcase our re- formed top line, not least because many of these singers’ time in the choir was hugely affected by the pandemic. It was apparent from the first glimpse that this was music that they adored. I couldn’t be more pleased with their performance and I’m sure everyone who listens to it will be too.”
The recording will be available on all major streaming platforms from 30th November, with our official launch concert Christmas by Candlelight in Lichfield Cathedral on 21st December at 7:30pm.
Stream the new recording here: https://lichfieldcathedralchoir.hearnow.com/
What People Are Saying
The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, Interim Dean of Lichfield
“I could not be more proud of our ‘new’ Cathedral choir, with the voices of our senior choristers and soprano choral scholars combining in ‘one equal music’. The hauntingly beautiful singing calls to mind the mystery of Christ’s birth, and the deep ache of the world’s rejection of him. As the voices draw near and then fade, we glimpse the glory of the one born to be Light in what is so often a bleak and despairing world. This superb recording of a true Christmas classic will be my companion through the dark days of Advent through the splendour of Christmas and on towards Epiphany and Candlemas.”
“Wow. Fabulous. The pacing, diction, and ensemble are out of the top drawer. The stereo imaging, so important in a recording of Britten’s upper-voice masterpiece, places the listener at the heart of the music-making. And this recording scores full marks for the captivatingly vibrant sound created by these young voices and the extraordinary musicianship of the vocal soloists.”
“Britten’s Ceremony of Carols is now a Christmas classic. Written for upper voices and harp it showcases the reformed Lichfield Cathedral top line with boys and girls taking equal share in what is often highly demanding music. It features, too, three lovely solo voices including Josie Sim, winner of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year in 2020. The recording is excellent and captures the initial processional and final recessional plainchant beautifully, with the distant choristers gradually coming closer, and at the end fading into the distance. The demanding harp part is played with real sensitivity by Katie Salomon who supports the voices beautifully.
This is a performance which everyone will enjoy, and people associated with the cathedral will hear with pride and pleasure. It is really good to hear our top line highlighted in this way, and Ben Lamb is to be congratulated on securing such a fine performance from his singers and harpist.”