Advent Calendar Day 25 – O Come All Ye Faithful / Hark the Herald Angels Sing / The Three Kings

I thought about finishing this on Christmas Eve, but really, the whole point of Advent is that it leads up to Christmas.

Anyway, as I will be busily singing descants at midnight tonight, I’m writing this early, and as you see, I really am insane enough to come home afterward and post it as close to midnight as possible (Merry Christmas!!), rather than going to bed like a sensible person.

It would probably be more in the spirit of this calendar to choose something obscure and early modern or baroque for this, my last Advent Calendar window. I can’t do it. Christmas Day for me is O Come All Ye Faithful, with that glorious descant and the Yay! Lord We Greet Thee (I know, I just couldn’t help myself) in unison with the organ doing insane things beneath it. And Hark, The Herald Angels Sing has the most beautiful descant in the world, and that’s one I won’t get to sing tonight (we’re doing a different, more insane descant, and it’s a lot of fun, but Christmas is also about Tradition, and I like the traditional one).

So that’s what you’re getting.

But you’re getting one more carol, too, because three gifts is also traditional, even if I can’t claim to be a wise woman, let alone a wise man.

(a fact which I am demonstrating at this very moment, in fact. Why am I adding things to this post at 2 in the morning when I’m so tired I had an out of body experience at Midnight Mass? We will never know. Go to bed, Catherine.)

And there is one carol that I have been eyeing off for years and I’ve never sung it or heard it performed before tonight. Well, I have sung it, but sight-reading the solo in a shopping center with three other people trying to fill in the eight part chorale underneath doesn’t really count (though it was fun, in a train-wrecky sort of way. See above note about my lack of wisdom). It’s by Peter Cornelius, and it’s called the Three Kings, which means it is really for Epiphany, but there is *no way* I am continuing out to the Twelve Days of Christmas at this point, so you will just have to listen to it now. Or listen to it now and then, if you like. I certainly won’t stop you.

It’s a beautiful piece of work – the choir does a chorale of ‘How Brightly Shines the Morning Star’, while the soloist sings about the three kings coming to Bethlehem. I’ve always suspected it would sound gorgeous if done well, and it really, really does.

I hope you love it as much as I do. And I hope you enjoy the glorious descants.

Merry Christmas, if that’s what you celebrate, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope your day is just as you would wish it to be.

Much love,

Catherine

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