We Wish You a Merry Christmas

. . . and a Happy New Year!

“Glad tidings we bring to you and your kin.”

We hope our joyous singing and playing of this traditional carol lifts your spirits as we move toward a happier and healthier new year.

Gathered around the Christmas tree in the painting is the Elm Ensemble—singers and players of accordion, virginal, tin whistle, xylophone, and guitar. Listen for violin, viola, comb, and the voices and instrumentals of children as well. Thanks to Johnny Dismal for the wonderful art!

“Heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain.”

Christina Rossetti’s gripping text—”In the Bleak Midwinter”—with music Gustav Holst composed for this poem. The meditative viola da gamba solo and the artwork—Richard Kathmann‘s “February”—resonate with the austere realities of winter and the ironic warmth such wintry sights and sounds bring to mind.

“Ther is no rose of swych vertu as is the rose that bare Jhesu.”

From the Trinity Carol Roll—a 15th century English manuscript that is our earliest known source of English polyphonic carols—There Is No Rose of Such Virtue is an anonymous Marian hymn with delicately beautiful sonorities and a poetic text meditating on the wonder of the incarnation.

Other Christmas and Advent hymns we recorded remotely this year.

  • Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (listen)
  • Let All Together Praise Our God (listen)
  • Comfort, Comfort Now My People (listen)
  • O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (listen)