I ‘This is the truth sent from above’ (baritone solo with wordless choral accompaniment)
II ‘Come all you worthy gentlemen’ (chorus and orchestra)
III ‘On Christmas night’ (solo baritone)
IV The last verses of parts II and III combined, words and music: final apotheosis with prominent chimes and repeated references to ‘A Virgin most Pure’. (Earlier in the work there is a fleeting reference to ‘The First Nowell’ but quite sharp ears are needed to spot it.) Then ‘the wassailers’ voices vanish into the distance, across the snow-covered fields and away into the night’. (Michael Kennedy).
from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1990
Other albums featuring this work
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music, Flos Campi, Mystical Songs
CDA30025 Hyperion 30th Anniversary series