It was The Venerable Bede, the English divine who entered a monastery at the age of seven and later made his mark as priest, theologian, scientist and historian, who wrote the original words of A maiden most gentle
. The present paraphrase is the work of Andrew Carter, who has set his version to a traditional French melody, adding a sparkling organ accompaniment to alternate verses. His arrangement perfectly catches the mood of the simple Christmas scene and accommodates unaccompanied singing and plenty of contrast between tenors and basses on the one hand and trebles and altos on the other.
from notes by Wadham Sutton © 1993