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Joy to the world

tune name sometimes given as Antioch; often, if improbably, attributed to Lowell Mason (1792-1872); published in William Holford's Voce di Melodia (c1834); also associated with Handel
author of text
after Psalm 98

The musical origins of this nineteenth-century Christmas hymn are not clear. It appeared under the title Antioch in an English collection of 1834, then in a number of hymnals edited by the American Lowell Mason, who was the first to wed it to Isaac Watts’s text. Both collections describe it as ‘from Handel’, perhaps on the strength of the resemblance of its opening phrase to 'Glory to God' and 'Lift up your heads' from Messiah. John Rutter’s setting, made in 1981 at the request of his American publisher, was conceived as a tribute to the tune’s presumed Handelian parentage.

from notes by Collegium Records © 2002

Né à Southampton, Isaac Watts était un pasteur qui écrivait des essais théologiques et à qui l’on doit près de cinq cents hymnes. En 1719, il écrivit Joy to the world en s’appuyant sur le Psaume 98. Cent cinquante ans plus tard, le compositeur américain Dr Lowell Mason—qui composa plus de mille six cents pièces sacrées—mit ces paroles en musique sur une nouvelle mélodie inspirée de thèmes de Haendel, et c’est dans cette version que ce morceau est passé à la postérité.

extrait des notes rédigées par David Wishart © 2003
Français: David Ylla-Somers

Der im südenglischen Southampton geborene Isaac Watts war Prediger, Autor von Kommentaren zu Religionsfragen und Urheber von fast fünfhundert Kirchenliedern; 1719 schrieb er Joy to the world auf der Grundlage des 98. Psalms. Einhundertfünfzig Jahre später versah der amerikanische Komponist Dr. Lowell Mason, der mehr als eintausendsechshundert sakrale Musikwerke zu Papier brachte, diesen Text mit einer neuen Vertonung, gegründet auf Themenmaterial von Händel, und diese Fassung ist zur allgemein anerkannten geworden.

aus dem Begleittext von David Wishart © 2003
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller


Christmas Classics
CDHLL7504Download only
Christmas Star
CSCD503Download only
Favourite Carols from King's
Studio Master: KGS0007Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Joy to the World
Joy to the World
Studio Master: SIGCD268Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Rutter: The John Rutter Christmas Album
CSCD510Download only
The Carols Album
Studio Master: SIGCD108Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 13 on CDA67443 [2'49]
Track 1 on CDH55161 [2'05]
Track 7 on CDHLL7504 [1'48] Download only
Track 10 on CSCD503 [2'48] Download only
Track 18 on CSCD510 [2'30] Download only
Track 7 on KGS0007 [3'00] Download only
Track 11 on SIGCD108 [1'49] Download only
Track 11 on SIGCD268 [2'32] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CSCD503 track 10

Recording date
Recording venue
Ely Cathedral, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Cornall
Recording engineer
John Dunkerley & Martin Atkinson
Hyperion usage
  1. Christmas Star (CSCD503)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: October 1997
    Download only
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