A double-header on day 4 of our Advent Calendar. In memory of two composers who left us on this day.
Benjamin Britten died on this day in 1976. A Ceremony of Carols, written for Christmas in 1942, is an obvious choice amongst the many examples of Britten’s wonderful understanding of the relationship between words and music. There is no Rose, the third piece after the introduction of Hodie Christus natus est and the welcome of Wolcum Yole is a moment of quiet bliss. The text, in English and Latin, exhorts us to ‘Leave we all this werldly mirth / and follow we this joyful birth.’ It’s sung here by the Choir of New College, Oxford, directed by Edward Higginbottom and with Frances Kelly playing the harp.
Today also marks the anniversary of the passing of another 20th century composer, Frank Zappa, who died in 1993. Taken too soon at 52 by prostate cancer.
“Jazz isn’t dead. It just smells funny.”
Whilst Frank was not one for conventional traditions, he did recognise them, albeit in a usually satirical way. Here’s a bonus Advent goodie for today – a seasonal offering from Mr Zappa.