Merry Christmas! I thought it fitting to end Advent with another piece from Handel’s Messiah, and this recording is a fascinating one, dating from 1930. Singing styles have changed quite a bit since then, and I think my personal preference is for a rather faster version of this recitative, but there is something rather special about listening to a voice that was recorded more than 80 years ago.
On Christmas Day, I traditionally provide three carols, so that you can have a bit of a carol service right here on my blog. So here is a rather lovely setting of There is No Rose by Benjamin Britten, which I trust will wipe Sting’s version from your minds. We sang this at our carol service on Sunday, along with some truly unspeakable carols by Rutter (there is no excuse for Jesus Child, thank you, O our evil conductor, who knows this perfectly well)
And finally, something that might be a bit familiar, though perhaps not in this arrangement. We were going to sing this on Christmas Day, but it seems to have turned into O Holy Night (though one suspects not quite in this arrangement), which is not quite the same thing. So instead of my traditional O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, you get In Dulce Jubilo, with the glorious arrangement by Wilcocks.