In the Bleak Midwinter reflects a Christmas that was unlike any other in recent history. Much of the music on this album was heard around the world as part of the 103rd Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service that has been broadcast live every year since 1930 from the Chapel at King’s College, Cambridge. But for Christmas Eve 2020, the continuation of this uniquely long-running tradition was not to be. A full service, with lessons, carols, organ voluntaries and prayers, had been recorded in an empty Chapel for use in the event that a live broadcast became impossible, and it was this that was called upon just days before Christmas Eve. For its millions of listeners, the broadcast meant the continuation of a Christmas tradition in a year when so many were without their friends and family, and without so much of what makes Christmas special.