Critic’s Choice

Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm
Stephen Cleobury. Photo: Nick Rutter

Stephen Cleobury. Photo: Nick Rutter

They’ve been doing it since 1441. Conductor Sir Andrew Davis has noted “that halo effect” in their sound, calling it “quintessentially English, with a purity in the way the boys in particular sing.”

For the last century or so, the ensemble of boys and male undergraduates that is the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge has been a cultural ambassador for the U.K. through tours, recordings, and its annual Christmas Eve broadcast of Nine Lessons and Carols.

This venerable and forever young choir is making its last U.S. tour under director of music Stephen Cleobury, who is stepping down after 37 years in the post. The choir pays a visit Monday night to another famous choral institution, New York’s St. Thomas Church, performing a quintessentially English program of music by Tallis, Britten and Vaughan Williams, leavened with a few Continental trifles by the likes of Monteverdi, Palestrina, and Bach.

The Choir of Kings College, Cambridge, performs music of Monteverdi, Tallis, Palestrina, Bach, Vierne, Britten, Vaughan Williams, and others 7:30 p.m. Monday at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street. saintthomaschurch.org; 212-757-7013.


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