Thursday, 25 December 2008

A Very Merry Christmas...

A Happy & Blessed Christmas to all readers of my BLOG!

I shall be listeing to the following works over the next couple of days:-

Gerald Finzi's In Terra Pax
Ralph Vaughan Williams's Hodie, The First Nowell and On Christmas Night
Victor Hely Hutchinson's A Carol Symphony
Benjamin Britten's A Boy was Born
I feel that the following poem by Robert Bridges sums up much of the ethos of The Land of Lost Content blog. The words were used by Finzi in the above mentioned work. To my mind it is one of the loveliest of Christmas pieces of music and I have listened to it for every year since Lyrita issued it on vinyl over quarter of a century ago. It sums up the composer's thoughts about the transience of life and the hope for the future. It is very much how I view the Season.
I am off to hear Mattins - in the Book of Common Prayer version - of course!

Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913

A frosty Christmas Eve
when the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone
where westward falls the hill,
And from many a village
in the water'd valley
Distant music reach'd me
peals of bells a ringing:
The constellated sounds
ran sprinkling on earth's floor

As the dark vault above
with stars was spangled o'er.
Then sped my thoughts to keep
that first Christmas of all
When the shepherds watching
by their folds ere the dawn
Heard music in the fields
and marveling could not tell
Whether it were angels
or the bright stars singing.

But to me heard afar
it was starry music
Angels' song, comforting
as the comfort of Christ
When He spake tenderly
to His sorrowful flock:
The old words came to me
by the riches of time
Mellow'd and transfigured
as I stood on the hill
Heark'ning in the aspect
of th'eternal silence.

No comments: