Christmas - The King’s Singers
Recorded at Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke’s, London
Bonus Feature: Life as a King’s Singer [9:19]
Screen Format 16:9, Region Code 0, Stereo, Dolby Surround 5.1, DTS 5.1
Full tracklist at end of review
SIGNUM SIGDVD008 [53:09]
The King’s Singers have a few Christmas CDs under their belt, but this is their first DVD. It was recorded (on an unspecified date) under studio conditions in LSO St Luke’s, so it’s properly a performance for the camera. Their singing is as lovely as ever, smooth and mellifluous with a good feel for dynamic movement and a peerless blend. The arrangements are mostly very good too, and they’re often done by past or present members of the group. I loved the settings of the French La peregrinaçion and the Catalan El niño querido but was less enamoured with the re-workings of Joy to the World and Noël Nouvelet, where the rhythms and harmonies jarred as much as they blended. They are at their best when they sing classic arrangements purely and clearly, such as O little one sweet or the lovely Born on a new day. There are also a few endearingly madcap arrangements to lighten the texture, such as Jingle Bells and Deck the hall, which perhaps goes a little over the top!
It’s a very good selection but, barring the advanced sound options, I’m not convinced that it works as a DVD, mainly because there is so little to look at. When they decide to manufacture something to look at it often manifests itself as something fairly naff, like standing around a Christmas tree wearing scarves. The best example of this mismatch is The Little Drummer Boy, a beautiful arrangement accompanied by some fairly daft images. This shouldn’t put anyone off, though. Even if you watch it with the picture turned off, this is still a solid, well-rounded festive disc. The brief extra feature, Life as a King’s Singer, contains interviews with each member of the group about their auditions and their experience in the group.
Simon Thompson 

I’m not convinced that it works as a DVD.

Track listing
1. - Veni, veni Emmanuel - Traditional arr. Philip Lawson
2. - Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen - Michael Praetorius
3. - Rise up, shepherd, and follow - Traditional arr. Carl Davis
4. - Lullay my liking - Philip Lawson
5. - Gaudete - Traditonal arr. Brian Kay
6. - There is a flower - John Rutter
7. - Noël nouvelet - Traditional arr. Philip Lawson
8. - Villançico Catalan - Traditional arr. Goff Richards
9. - O little one sweet - Tradtional harmonised J.S.Bach
10. - La peregrinaçon - Traditional Peter Knight
11. - Stille Nacht - Franz Gruber / Josef Mohr arr. John Rutter
12. - Joy to the world - Lowell Mason / Isaac Watts arr. Philip Lawson
13. - El niño querido - Traditional arr. Goff Richards
14. - Born on a new day - John David arr. Peter Knight & Philip Lawson
15. - Jingle Bells - James Lord Pierpont arr. Gordon Langford
16. - Christmas song - Mel Tormé / Robert Wells arr. Peter Knight
17. - God rest you merry gentlemen - Tradtional arr. Geoffrey Keating
18. - The little drummer boy - Katharine Davis / Henry Onorati / Harry Simone / arr. John McCarthy
19. - Deck the hall - Tradtional / Thomas Oliphant arr. Gordon Langford
Running time for music [53:09]
Running time for extras [9:19]