In the Bleak Midwinter

English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) wrote “In the Bleak Midwinter” in response to a request for a Christmas poem by the American magazine Scribner’s Monthly in 1872. It was published posthumously in her Poetic Works in 1904 and became a popular Christmas carol after its inclusion in The English Hymnal (1906) in a setting with music by Gustav Holst.

The tune was named “Cranham” after the village in Gloucestershire that was home to Holst’s grandparents and mother, and where it is said (though no definitive proof exists) that he wrote the music.

Here’s a nice performance by the Finnish ensemble, Novice Brass.

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99

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