It's Christmas Day and I want to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and a healthy and fulfilling 2016 ! I spent a lovely few days in the south with S and the children. As my birthday is very close to Christmas we had a birthday and Christmas Day celebration actually on my birthday ! It was wonderful, a full tukey dinner with trimmings, a flaming pud, chocolates and nut cracking ( the favourite pastime of W who doesn't even like them !) in front of a roaring fire !
I received a very powerful and zippy cordless vacuum cleaner for both birthday and Christmas and I have enjoyed a festive clean throughout my house - even on Christmas Day ! Joyful work indeed, and my house has never been so clean and sparkly !
After all that expension of energy I sat down to watch Carols from Kings. I once had the pleasure of going to the Christmas Evensong at Kings College Chapel - something everyone who adores English cathedral choir music should do in their life - and loved the sound, the reverence and the sheer wonderfully disciplined singing. The choir, under Stephen Cleobury, whose brother Nick was chorus master when I was singing at Glyndeboure Opera eons ago, were at their top notch best and sang some familiar pieces and anthems, as well as some I did not know.
Perhaps I have been deaf to some modern church music, but today they sang O Magnum Mysterium by Ola Gjeilo. I had not heard this wondrous piece with Cello obligato, and was transfixed by its beauty. The overall sound was full of tranquil simplicity, but I am certain that was a con - I imagine the choristers had to work very hard and with such discipline to achieve such a peaceful atmosphere.
Go to the link below and listen to the Kings Choir singing it and enjoy.
Kings College Cambridge in the snow, sheer English beauty.