Bethlehem Down

Peter Warlock (pseudonimo di Philip Heseltine; 1894 – 17 dicembre 1930): Bethlehem Down, carol per coro a 4 voci (1927) su testo Bruce Blunt (1899 – 1957). Coro del King’s College di Cambridge.

«When He is King we will give Him a King’s gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
Beautiful robes», said the young girl to Joseph,
Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight,
Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,
Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music,
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary,
Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.

Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,
Close-huddled oxen to keep him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music,
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem Down.



Lo stesso brano nella trascrizione per orchestra d’archi realizzata nel 2002 da Philip Lane (1950-). Royal Ballet Sinfonia, dir. Gavin Sutherland.


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