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This work was written at the request of conductor Elise Bradley for her highly regarded choir Key Cygnetures at Westlake Girls High School (Auckland).
It was intended for a 'mid-winter Christmas' concert which was to also feature Britten's A Ceremony of Carols. I therefore felt happy to turn to Christmas texts with some of the more traditional Christmas references (snow etc.).
The first text is from the fifteenth century and is a general text mentioning Mary, the manger, the wise men, and the gifts they brought, and ends with call to delight in the Christ child. The second text, by G.K. Chesterton contains images of snow and night, and ends with the line that gives the work its overall title. The third text is a variant of the carol I saw Three Ships and may refer either to the medieval myth that Joseph and Mary travelled to England, or obliquely to purported journeys of the relics of the wise men. The fourth text is a lullaby by nineteenth century poet John Addington Symonds. Again the wise men and their gifts are mentioned along with the shepherds. The final text is another anonymous one, and is simply a brief and energetic welcome to 'Heaven's King'.
Dedicated to Key Cygnetures at Westlake Girls High School, and their conductor Elise Bradley.
- Eia, Jesus Hodie
- A Child of the Snows
- As I Sat on a Sunny Bank
- A Christmas Lullaby
- Welcome to Heaven's King
Text by anonymous, G.K. Chesterton, and anonymous
23 Jun 2006: Performed by Key Cygnetures cond. Elise Bradley, Helen Webby (harp), Rowan Johnstone (percussion); Westlake Girls High School, Auckland