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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

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Uploaded by: gooseh (12/08/21)
Composer: Various
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: Caen - St. Etienne Cavaillé Coll
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Hymn
The words were written by Charles Wesley as a hymn specifically for Christmas day and he wanted slow and solemn music for it. The words have been changed about since - George Whitfield changed the opening couplet a bit and then the repetition of "Hark! The herald-angels sing "Glory to the new-born king" at the end of each verse was added later. The words we sing today are also slightly different than the Wesley and Whitfield versions and we only sing the first three verses.

Wikipedia has all three versions side by side!_The_Herald_Angels_Sing

The tune comes from a Felix Mendelssohn piece which was adapted to fit the words by William H Cummings. I always feel sorry for the tenors singing this piece - not very imaginative writing!

This final verse is harmonised by Sir Stephen Cleobury, who was music director at King's College Cambridge from 1982 - 2019. Unfortunately, he died at the end of 2019. I will always be thankful to Mr Cleobury for allowing me to play the beautiful organ a couple of times over the years after the services on a Sunday had finished.

It of course has a descant singing over the top missing in but it actually makes a fine arrangement for normal hymn singing

Hope you enjoy

Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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