Sinden.org published its traditional preview of the music list for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge late last month..
For the days leading up to the service, we have been offer a Kalendar of Carols: a more in-depth look at each piece of music to be sung.
So far, we've covered the opening hymn, Bidding Prayer, In the bleak mid-winter – Harold Darke, Adam's Fall – Richard Elfyn Jones, Love came down at Christmas – arr. Stephen Cleobury, How shall I fitly meet thee – Bach, I saw three ships – arr. Ledger, Illuminare Jerusalem – Judith Weir, and the hymn "O little town of Bethlehem", A spotless rose – Herbert Howells, The Lamb – John Tavener, The Angel Gabriel – Pettman, and The Linden Tree Carol – arr. Cleobury.
This year's commissioned carol by Huw Watkins is in Welsh.
Pwy sy’n gorwedd yn y Preseb? Anfeidroldbeb rhyfedd iawn. Pwy all ddirnad ei diriondeb? Gabriel, na, er maint ei ddawn. Ei amgyffred Ef nis gellir, Goruwch nef a daear yw – Y mynyddoedd oll a dreulir Erys ein Meseia gwiw. Pwy mewn gwael gadachau rwymwyd? Tragwyddoldeb dim yn llai. I ba beth y’i darostyngwyd? Er mwyn codi euog rai. Cyfrin bydoedd a olrheinir; Daw’r dirgelion oll heb len, Erys un nas, erys un nas Llwyr ddatguddir Erys un nas llwyr ddatguddir Wedi elo’r byd i ben.
Which being translated means
Who is it who lies in the manger? A very strange immortality. Who can discern his gentleness? Not Gabriel, despite his skill. It is not possible to imagine him, he is above heaven and earth – the mountains, the mountains may all be worn out - the mountains may all be worn out, our wonderful Messiah remains. Who was wrapped in poor napkins? None less than eternity. To what purpose was he subjected? In order to raise up the guilty. Secret worlds shall be described; all secrets shall be without a curtain before them. One remains, one remains who will never be completely revealed. One remains who will never be completely revealed When the world comes to an end.
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