Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"A Maiden Most Gentle"

Sung by the King's College Choir.   I adore this melody!  It's so tuneful and sweet; it's just about perfect, I think.  News to me, via Saturday Chorale, is that St. Bede wrote the text.

This is from the YouTube blurb:
"A Maiden Most Gentle"
Andrew Carter, 20th Century

A maiden most gentle and tender we sing
Of Mary the mother of Jesus our King
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

How blest is the birth of her heavenly child
Who came to redeem us in Mary so mild
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

The archangel Gabriel foretold by his call
The Lord of creation and Saviour of all
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

Three kings came to worship with gifts rich and rare
And marveled in awe at the babe in her care
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

Rejoice and be glad at this Christmas we pray
Sing praise to the Savior sing end-lessly
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge is one of today's most accomplished and renowned representatives of the great British choral tradition. It was created by King Henry VI, who founded King's College, Cambridge in 1441, to provide daily singing in his Chapel, which remains the main task of the choir to this day.

Today the choir is directed by Stephen Cleobury and derives much of its fame from the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast worldwide to millions on Christmas Eve every year, and the TV service Carols from King's which accompanies it.

And Mark at Saturday Chorale writes:
The original words to this well-loved hymn were written by The Venerable Bede; this modern paraphrase is particularly popular for Advent and was set by Andrew Carter to a well-known French melody with organ accompaniment to alternate verses.

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