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Of the Father's heart begotten

Piae Cantiones Theoderici Petri Nylandensis, 1582; NEH 33
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Of the Father’s heart begotten stems from words written in the early fifth century by the lawyer and Christian poet, Prudentius. One of his long Latin hymns contains verses beginning with the words 'Corde natus ex parentis'. These were adopted for liturgical use and, over time, found a fitting place in Christmas services. The Anglican priest and hymnwriter John Mason Neale, aided by the choirmaster Thomas Helmore, coupled Neale’s English translation of Prudentius to a plainsong melody preserved in the Piæ Cantiones, a Swedish anthology of ecclesiastical and Christmas songs printed in Germany in 1582. Neale’s version was later revised for inclusion in The English Hymnal by Robert or ‘Roby’ Furley Davis, a Cambridge graduate and long-serving senior classical master at Campbell College, Belfast. The hymn’s nobility registers in David Willcocks’ arrangement, underlined by its division of labour between adults’ and boys’ voices and richly textured organ registrations.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2021


In the bleak midwinter
KGS0060-DDownload only Available Friday 5 November 2021
The Carols Album
Studio Master: SIGCD108Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 5 on KGS0060-D [4'48] Download only Available Friday 5 November 2021
Track 23 on SIGCD108 [3'16] Download only

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