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Improvisation on Adeste fideles


The germ of Francis Pott’s Improvisation on Adeste fideles took hold during his time as a lay clerk at Winchester Cathedral, transmitted by what he recalls as the performance of ‘an egregiously flippant work based on the same tune’. When Pott pointed out its deficiencies, the performer suggested that he might like to do better. The opportunity arose in 2005 with a commission to write a recessional voluntary for the King’s College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The ‘resolutely diatonic foursquareness of the Adeste fideles tune,’ admits Pott, ‘presented considerably greater challenges than I had anticipated!’ He overcame the hymn tune’s limits by dissecting it into thematic fragments and treating them as the raw material for a work of striking contrapuntal ingenuity, musical heft and compelling virtuosity.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2021


In the bleak midwinter
Studio Master: KGS0060-DDownload only NEWStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 20 on KGS0060-D [6'37] Download only NEW

Track-specific metadata for KGS0060-D track 20

Recording date
1 December 2020
Recording venue
King's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Benjamin Sheen
Recording engineer
Benjamin Sheen
Hyperion usage
  1. In the bleak midwinter (KGS0060-D)
    Disc 1 Track 20
    Release date: November 2021
    Download only NEW
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