Monday, 17 December 2018

Christmas Music… In the Bleak Midwinter

DC Editor Adam writes…

At this time of year, with Christmas themed tunes blasting out at us from every turn, it's difficult not to lose patience (!) with the whole idea of seasonal music.

This year I'm aiming to stop and have not only a good listen, but also a look at the history of our favourite Christmas music, keeping a particular eye on London connections. I hope you enjoy this series and that it might help a little bit when you are cracking-up while doing the Christmas shopping on Oxford Street…

In the Bleak Midwinter

The lyric – originally a poem entitled A Christmas Carol – was written by Christina Rosetti (1830 - 1894) and first published in 1872 in Scribner's Monthly in the U.S.

It has been set to music on several occasions, most famously by Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934) in 1906; and by Harolde Darke, born in Highbury 1888.

Harold Darke's musical journey through London took him as organist to Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead and St Michael's Cornhill in the City of London. St Michael's is famed as the church that may have inspired Dickens in A Christmas Carol.

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