Generous Orthodoxy  




Friday, September 18, 2015

Sir David Willcocks 1919-2015

A great many people who have never heard of David Willcocks are nevertheless familiar with his arrangements of Christmas carols, now heard around the world. Rarely today is "Adeste Fideles" heard, at least in the better recordings, without the "Willcocks chord" on the first syllable of the word "faithful" and the descant that goes along with it. It was he who brought the King's College Chapel choir to worldwide attention, and it was his stewardship that elevated the Christmas Eve Festival of Lessons and Carols in the Chapel to become a beloved tradition. The tributes are presently speeding around the globe. His passing is an occasion for praise and thanksgiving to God by those who have rejoiced greatly to hear the outpourings of his superb musicianship in the service of the Church.

His life, including his notable service in World War II, was remarkable in itself. Here are two obituaries among many (the second one is best):

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/sir-david-willcocks-charismatic-conductor-and-organist-who-raised-choral-standards-round-the-world-to-new-levels-of-excellence-10506561.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11872141/Sir-David-Willcocks-choirmaster-obituary.html