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Classical Notes

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols--The Original (?)

Posted at 3:37 PM on December 16, 2013 by Rex Levang

If you're like a lot of us, you associate the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with King's College in Cambridge, England (a service which we'll be broadcasting next week).

But the festival has its origins not in Cambridge, but the English city of Truro, where it first saw the light of day in 1880.

There have been important changes over the years, but some of the documents describing that first festival have survived. Tomorrow, Dec. 17, the Truro Cathedral will recreate that 1880 event (to the extent possible), Victorian hymns and all. Here's an article in the Guardian that has the details.

One non-Victorian touch: this time, the Festival will be recorded, and made available later as a webcast.