A tender shoot
was written by the German pianist, conductor and composer Otto Goldschmidt (1829–1907), who settled in England in 1858 with his wife, the famous Swedish soprano Jenny Lind, nicknamed ‘The Swedish Nightingale’. He made important contributions to English musical life, and founded The Bach Choir with whom he gave the first complete performance in Britain of Bach’s B minor Mass. (By an apposite coincidence, The Bach Choir’s current Music Director is David Hill.) This carol became popular through the recording made in the early 1960s by St John’s Choir under George Guest, Music Director from 1951 to 1991. Its text describes Christ as the ‘tender shoot’ that sprang from the root of Jesse.
from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006