Christmas with the Philadelphia Singers

The Philadelphia Singers at St. Clement's Church

A Philadelphia holiday tradition, David Hayes conducts the Philadelphia Singers in their 15th annual Christmas concert. This year's performance, recorded in the resonant, atmospheric setting of St. Clement's Church near Logan Square in Philadelphia, celebrates the holiday with hymns, traditional carols and music by Benjamin Britten, Morten Lauridsen and Alfred Burt. The program is crowned by the beautiful "Gloria" of John Rutter.

Conductor David Hayes

A native of the Boston area, David Hayes is critically hailed as a conductor. Hayes studied conducting with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteaux School and with Otto-Werner Muller at the Curtis Institute of music, where he is now Staff Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and a faculty member. Hayes was appointed Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Singers in 1992.

Founded in 1972, The Philadelphia Singers are a unique ensemble of professional vocalists who excel in solo as well as ensemble work.
Program Host, Melinda Whiting

The Philadelphia Singers perform regularly in the major concert halls of New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and often perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra. On Dec. 15, 2001, the Singers appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Kimmel Center Inaugural Gala. The Singers have recorded three compact discs for RCA Red Seal: Handel's Roman Vespers; Gloria! Gloria!, a Christmas recording with the celebrated soprano Benita Valente; and Ceremonies and Carols, a recording featuring Christmas rarities.

Public Radio International LogoThe program will be heard on Public Radio International stations nationwide.

Program selections and lyrics

See more about Alfred Burt at http://www.alfredburtcarols.com/

See more about John Rutter at http://www2.hyperion-records.co.uk/composer_page.asp?name=rutter

See more about Benjamin Britten at http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/britten.html.

See more about Morton Lauridsen at http://www.usc.edu/schools/music/faculty/mus_theory/lauridsen.htm

Send questions and comments about this program to PhiladelphiaSingers@whyy.org


Once in Royal David's City

Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In the manger for a bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable,
And his cradle was a stall;
With the poor and meek and lowly
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And through all his wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden
In whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as he.

For he is our childhood's pattern,
Day by day like us he grew,
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us he knew.
And he feeleth for our sadness,
And he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
Through his own redeeming love,
For that child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on
To the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see him; but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars his children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

We at last shall meet our Savior,
Fount of God's redeeming grace,
For the Child so dear and gentle
Reigns within a glorious place;
Leading all God's children on
To the heaven where saints have gone.

A Hymn to the Virgin

Of one that is so fair and bright
Velut maris stella (like a star of the sea),
Brighter than the day is light,
Parens et puella (mother and maiden):
I cry to thee, thou see to me,
Lady, pray thy Son for me,
That I may come to thee.
Tam pia, Maria! (Thou holy one, Mary)

All this world was forlorn
Eva peccatrice (Through Eve, the sinner),
Till our Lord was y-born
De te genetrice (Of thee the mother).
With ave it went away
Darkest night, and comes the day
The well springeth out of thee
Salutis; Virtutis (of salvation; of virture)

Lady, flow'r of ev'rything,
Rose sine spina (Rose without a thorn)
Thou bearest Jesu, Heaven's King,
Gratia divina (By Divine grace):

Of all thu bear'st the prize,
Lady, queen of paradise
Mild maid, mother es Effecta.
Electa: Effecta (Chosen one: you are proved)

There is No Rose of Such Virtue (anonymous text c. 1420)

There is no rose of such virtue,
As is the rose that bear Jesu;
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space;
Resmiranda, resmiranda, resmiranda. (Wonderful circumstance.)

By that rose we may well see
That he is God in persons three;
Pari forma, pari forma, pari forma. (Equal beauty.)

The angels sung the shepherds to:
Gloria in excelsis Deo! (Glory to God in the highest)
Gaudeamus, gaudeamus, gaudeamus. (Let us rejoice.)

Leave we all this worldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth;
Transeamus, transeamus, transeamus, transeamus. (Let us cross over.)

Ave Maria

Ave Maria, gratia plena
Dominus tecum,
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui,

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae,

(Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women and
blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and in
the hour of our death. Amen.)

Six Carols by Alfred Burt

1. Caroling, Caroling (1954) Caroling, caroling, now we go,
Christmas bells are ringing.
Caroling, caroling, through the snow,
Christmas bells are ringing.
Joyous voices sweet and clear,
sing the sad of heart to cheer.
Ding, dong, ding, dong!
Christmas bells are ringing.

Caroling, caroling, through the town;
Christmas bells are ringing.
Caroling, caroling, up and down,
Christmas bells are ringing.
Mark ye well the song we sing.
Gladsome tidings now we bring.
Ding, dong, ding, dong!
Christmas bells are ringing.

Caroling, caroling, near and far;
Christmas bells are ringing.
Following, following yonder star,
Christmas bells are ringing.
Sing we all this happy morn:
"Lo, the King of Heav'n is born!"
Ding, dong, ding, dong!
Christmas bells are ringing.

2. All on a Christmas Morning (1946)

O, who are these that throng the way
to Bethlehem, to Bethlehem,
And onward press in glad array,
all on a Christmas morning.
Good Christian men and maids they
are from countries near and lands afar,
Allured by yonder beckoning start,
all on a Christmas morning.

What do they hasten thence to see
in Bethlehem, in Bethlehem,
That they fare forth so merrily,
all on a Christmas morning?
O, they a vision fair would view,
would find the beautiful and true,
And faith and hope and love renew,
all on a Christmas morning.

And what is this they're carrying
to Bethlehem, to Bethlehem,
What is it in their arms they bring,
all on a Christmas morning?
They bear good gifts in rich excess
of love and joy and thankfulness,
With which mankind they fain would
bless, all on a Christmas morning.

3. We'll dress this house (1954)

We'll dress the house with holly bright
and sprigs of mistletoe.
We'll trim the Christmas tree tonight
and set the lights aglow.
We'll wrap our gifts with ribbons gay
and give them out on Christmas day.
By everything we do and say,
our gladness we will show.

We'll dress the table daintily,
Our finest treasures use,
That all a-sparkle it may be
And bright with lovely hues.
Then for the feasting we'll preparev a kitchen full of wondrous fare,
That each from all the dishes rare,
his fav'rite one may choose.

And ye who would the Christ child greet,
your heart also adorn,
That it may be a dwelling meet
for Him who now is born.
Let all unlovely things give place
to souls bedecked with heavenly grace,
That ye may view His holy face
with joy on Christmas morn.

We'll dress the house with holly bright
and sprigs of mistletoe.
We'll trim the Christmas tree tonight
and set the lights aglow.
We'll wrap our gifts with ribbons gay
and give them out on Christmas day.
By everything we do and say,
our gladness we will show.

4. Ah, Bleak and Chill the Wintry Wind (1945)

Ah, bleak and chill the wintry wind,
but colder far be he
Who hath no warmth of love to share
with Christ the babe that Mary bare
on His nativity, on His nativity.

Dark, dark the night when Christ was
born, but deeper shadows be
Within the heart that has no joy
with Mary and her heav'nly boy,
on His nativity, on His nativity.

Peace be to them, and right good cheer
who carol merrily,
And hie them forth when church bells
ring to kneel before their newborn King,
on His nativity, on His nativity.

5. Nigh Bethlehem (1947)

Nigh Bethl'em on a wint'ry night,
noel, noel, noel!
Poor shepherds saw a lonely sight
when angel hosts in vesture bright
burst forth from heaven's lofty height,
and sang, "Noel, noel",
and sang, "Noel, noel!"

Peace and good will the Christ child
noel, noel, noel!
And saves all men from evil things,
for He of whom the angel sings
is Lord of lords and King of kinds!
Then sing noel, noel, noel!
Then sing noel, noel!

So Christian folk, put fear aside,
noel, noel, noel!
And spread the gospel far and wide,
that joy be great at Christmastide,
and God in Christ be magnified!
Then sing, noel, noel, noel!
Then sing noel, noel!

6. Come, Dear Children (1952)

Come, dear children, don't be
All the family now is rallying,
Not a moment now to spare,
joyful haste is in the air.
There are nuts to crack
and candies to make,
and birds to stuff
and cookies to bake.
There's many and many a thing to do,
which we have done before.
For Christmas, blessed Christmas
is here once more!

Now begins a mighty scurrying,
each to do his task is hurrying,
All to finish he contrives,
Ere the glorious day arrives.
There are gifts to wrap
and cards to write,
and secrets kept with great delight,
there's many and many a mystery
behind each closet door.
For Christmas, blessed Christmas
is here once more!

O was there ever such a jolly day?
Fam'lies gathered for the holiday.
Home is filled with dancing eyes,
laughter, love and glad surprise.
There are friends to see
and prayers to say,
and songs to sing in rondelay,
There's many a lovely memory
of Christmastides of yore.
For Christmas, blessed Christmas
is here once more!

Gloria (John Rutter)

Gloria in excelsis Deo,
et in terra pax
hominibus bonae voluntatis

Laudamus te,
benedicimus te,
adoramus te,
glorificamus te

Gratias agimus tibi
propter magnam
gloriam tuam

Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,
Deus Pater omnimpotens.
Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu
Christe altissime: Domine Deus, Agnus
Dei, Filius Patris:

Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis;
qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem

Qui sedes ad dexteram patris, miserere nobis:

Quoniam tu solus sanctus,
tu solus Dominus, tu solus
altissimus: Jesu Christe:

Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris.

(Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to his people.

We praise you, we bless you,
we adore you, we glorify you.

We give you thanks for your
great glory.

Lord God, heavenly king,
almighty God and Father;
only begotten Son of the Lord,
Jesus Christ most high:
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father

Who takes away the sins of the world;
have mercy on us, receive our prayer .

Who sits at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us:

For you alone are Holy,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are Most High: Jesus Christ.

With the Holy Spirit in the glory
of God the Father.

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