2007 Christmas Concert — Carols: “Bid the night be peace”

Posted on Dec 9, 2008

2007 Christmas Concert —

Saturday, December 9, and Sunday, December 10, 2008

Carols: “Bid the night be peace”

The Choral Society has commissioned American composer Steven Sametz to compose a work in honor of Rodney Wynkoop’s 20th anniversary as our conductor. We are pleased to present the world premiere of “Thou whose birth,” a setting of the poem by A. C. Swinburne.

The second half of our concert is a program of carols and Christmas works associated with themes of night, stars, and peace suggested by Swinburne’s poem. Other highlights include carols arrange by the Choral Society’s own Mike Meyer (Assistant to the Conductor) and composed by the late Dr. Waldo Beach (a founding member of the Choral Society) and Durham’s own Pulitizer Prize–winning composer Robert Ward, who celebrated his 90th birthday in September.


Jump to Charpentier: Midnight Mass for Christmas

Thou whose birth (Part I) Steven Sametz – world premiere
Jeg er saa glad Peder Knudsen; arr. Paul Christiansen
In the lonely midnight Gilbert M. Martin
Strålande jul Gustaf Nordqvist
’Twas in the moon of wintertime 16th-cent.; arr. Antony Baldwin
That wondrous night of Christmas Eve Robert Ward
Stille Nacht Franz Gruber; arr. Ian Humphris
Chill of the nightfall Waldo Beach
Long, long ago Herbert Howells
Oh, how beautiful the sky trad. Danish; arr. Paul Christiansen
O holy night Adolphe Adam; arr. Michael L. Meyer
Thou whose birth, Part II (Dona nobis pacem) Steven Sametz – world premiere

About Steven Sametz and “Thou whose birth”

Composer’s home page at Lehigh University

Algernon Charles Swinburne: Brief biography
Links to extensive Swinburne resources on the Victorian Web

Text of the poem

Thou whose birth on earth
Angels sang to men,
While the stars made mirth,
Savior, at thy birth,
This day born again.

As this night was bright
With thy cradle-ray,
Very light of light,
Turn the wild world’s night
To thy perfect day.

Bid our peace increase,
Thou that madest morn;
Bid oppressions cease;
Bid the night be peace;
Bid the day be born.

From Songs Before Sunrise, Christmas Antiphones, I. In Church
(first two verses and last verse)

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