Monday, December 24, 2018

A Merry Christmas to all our readers

Along with two other of his compositions, this was included in the King's College, Cambridge Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in Benjamin Britten's centenary year.

Britten wrote A Hymn to the Virgin when he was 16, though he later revised it.

The text that Britten uses is by an anonymous poet and probably dates from about 1300. It appears in The Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900, which he won as a school prize for music. 
It’s a macaronic verse; that is, a poem in which one language is introduced into the context of another. The main body of the choir sings in Middle English and another semi-chorus (or group of soloists) supplies a refrain in Latin.

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