Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Advent soundtrack for today

Coventry Carols features twelve favorite carols with the Saint Michael's Singers. One of my all-time favorites is "In the Bleak Midwinter," particularly the words, Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain. The tune used for this carol was written by Gustav Holst of The Planets fame. His music is thoughtful and expressive, mournful to the extent it affects you deep inside.

Two carols on this collection that I've never heard are "Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree" and "People Look East." Both are interesting.


Carol in Oregon said...

Killing me, Janie, you're killing me! =)

Carol in Oregon said...

I copied this verse of In The Bleak Midwinter in my journal last year. It's not normally sung:

Enough for him whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for him whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

I love Rossetti's words. Back in 1986 my brother (an opera singer) sang this carol a capella at the last church service he spent with my father who had just been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. When Danny came to the last verse, overcome with emotion, he broke down. My father went over and stood by him and put his arm around him. Now it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. But I love it dearly.

Jeff Miller said...

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree is such a nice piece. One of my choir members hates it because it ends on a half cadence & leaves her hanging. It's a lot tougher to sing than it appears on paper, too. Keep up the good listening!

Sarah said...

Ooo. . . sounds like a nice CD. I used to do handbells, and we did a beautiful arrangement of "Midwinter."
I also enjoy "People Look East."

Seasonal Soundings said...

Carol, everytime I post a CD I think I ought not to so not to tempt you! I have had time this year (well, not really time, but an urging or something) to become immersed in Christmas music. And I've loved every minute of it! Your story of Midwinter, your father, and your brother brought tears to my eyes. What a tribute of your brother to your dad, and your dad to his son. I just love that song.

Jeff--I had to go back and listen to the end of Apple Tree to pick up on that half cadence. It's amazing how we have the need to resolve it. I'm going to suggest this to our community choir for next year.

Sarah--Ooo, I'd love to hear Midwinter on handbells! My two girls learned to play bells at Ferrum and loved it. We so enjoyed the beautiful night of the Christmas concert with the bells and choirs. Sadly, this year handbells was completely eliminated, and they cancelled the traditional Christmas concert which always packed the chapel with people from the college, but especially from the little community. I just do not understand the thinking of some of the administration. And I think it will ultimately come back to bite them. :(
Btw, thanks for posting about those mouse books. Though my kiddos are grown, I can use the books for teaching, and grandbabies one day! I've put them in my wishlist.

Debbie V. said...

I am so enjoying your music posts -I need new music in my life. I miss it. My daughter and I went to a "Holiday Pops" concert at her college (IUS). I was pleasantly surprised to hear so many Christian carols sung including two I had never heard - Donkey Carol and Shepher's Pipe Carol, both good.
You might enjoy reading the lastest post here: U Krakovianski about Polish carols, and if you get a chance listen to Bog Sie Rodzu a carol in Polish.