That rarefied sound (subtly amplified at the Cathedral by a troika of mics) served them handsomely in an unhackneyed selection of yuletide music, highlighted by Bob Chilcott’s buoyant setting of a Maya Angelou text, “We Are,” and by Keith Roberts’s arrangement of “Carol of the Bells,” rich with vocal simulations of bell resonance and overtones. And, in a nod to their crossover repertoire, a set of inventively arranged Christmas songs allowed the Singers to channel the Swingle Singers, the Four Freshmen, the Manhattan Transfer and, in whimsically retooled versions of “Sleigh Ride” and “Jingle Bells,” the Comedian Harmonists. On a more sober note, a reading of a World War I soldier’s letter from the front, underscored by John Rutter’s version of “Silent Night,” proved a moving centennial tribute to the Great War.
Saturday was the final concert for retiring countertenor Timothy Wayne-Wright and baritone Christopher Gabbitas. But if the King’s Singers are true to form, they’ll be back with superb new soloists, sounding reassuringly like their old selves.