The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings Songs of Christmas

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings Songs of Christmas 12 inch Vinyl LP Record

Side A
1. Joy To The World (P.D.)
2. O Holy Night (ASCAP) - Arr: W. W. Gilchrist -
3. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - Arr: L. Robertson -
4. We Three Kings Of Orient Are (P.D.)
5. O Little Town Of Bethlehem - Arr: L. Robertson - 

Side B
1. Silent Night, Holy Night - Arr: R. Condie -
2. O Come, All Ye Faithful - Arr: L. Robertson -
3. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (P.D.)
4. The Angel's Song (P.D.)
5. 23rd Psalm (of David) (P.D.)

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings Songs of Christmas

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Joy to the World first appeared in an 18th-century hymnal. Because a portion of the song is written as a fugue, the tune is commonly attributed to George Frideric Handel. It seems more likely, since no evidence exists to support this theory, that the author was gifted and prolific Anon. Isaac Watts published the lyrics in 1719 as part of the Psalms of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, taking his inspiration from the line of the 98th Psalm that reads: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord….”

One of the most popular Christmas solos ever written was originally denounced by a French bishop for its “lack of musical taste and total absence of the spirits of religion.” The song: O Holy Night (Minuit, Chrétiens). Its composer was one of the creators of French comic opera (he wrote 53 in all), Adolphe Charles Adam. The translation of Cappeau de Roquemaure’s lyrics are by the American music critic and editor, John S. Dwight.

       Charles Dickens made good use of the opening lines of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen in “A Christmas Carol.” The exact origin of the song is unknown, and it is ascribed to traditional English; the words first appear about 1770 in the Roxburghe Collection, III, 452. The title has two distinct meanings. The word “rest” means “keep.” Depending on where the comma lies, the thought is “God rest ye, merry gentlemen” or “God rest ye merry, gentlemen.” Needless to say, Scrooge was unhappy with both.

       Because of the style and modes of We Three Kings, many people think of the song as a medieval carol. It is, in fact, not yet 100 years old. The author was John Henry Hopkins, Jr., a poet of some renown, a musicologist, composer, and rector of various parishes. In his spare time, he designed stained glass windows. The song is usually sung with soloists taking the part of Gasper, Melchior, and joined by a chorus on the stanzas.

       O Little Town of Bethlehem was written on Christmas Eve in 1868 by Rev. Philips Brooks, rector of the Church of the Advent in Philadelphia. He credited his inspiration to a journey he had made on horseback from Jerusalem to Bethlehem shortly before Christmas in 1865. The church organist, Lewis H. Redner, took the verses home with him Saturday evening and composed the melody in time for Sunday morning classes.

       The origin of Silent Night, Holy Night, once thought to be an Austrian folk song, is now well known. Christmas Eve, 1818, found the church organ broken in Austrian village of Oberndorf. In order to have some music for the evening services, the assistant pastor, Joseph Mohr, wrote the words of Silent Night and gave them to his friend Franz Gruber, the village schoolmaster and church organist. A workman who had been sent for to repair the organ heard the song and took a copy of it with him when he left. He later gave the song to a touring group specializing in Tyrolean songs. The song was well reveived throughout their tour; apparently the impression that it was a local folk song came from the fact that the author ship was never announced.

       Six copies of the words to O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adestr, fideles) have been found in England and Ireland, but with music differing from the melody used today. As far as is known, the music was written by the English composer John Reading. Since all surviving versions of the words were written by the well-known copyist of the 16th century, John Francis Wade, musicologist safely assume that he is the author.

       The lyricist and composer of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear never met. Edmund H. Sears was graduated frin tge Harvard Divinity School. Richard S. Willis attended Yale. Sears first published his verses in the Christian Register in 1859. Several years later, Willis, who was then a vestryman at the Little Church Around The Corner in New York City, composed the melody. Interestingly, the melody is also often used for While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night.

       Tschesnokov’s The Angel’s Song is the Russian conception of the Holy Night. The angels make their announcement to the shepherds in jubilant “Hallelujahs.”

       Franz Schubert wrote The Lord Is My Shepherd (23rd Psalm) for the pupils of Fraulein Anna Frohlich at the Vienna Conservatory in December, 1820. At this point in his life, none of Schubert’s works had been printed. Originally conceived for four-part ladies’ chorus with piano accompaniment, the arrangement for mixed voices sung here is by Sir John Stainer.


Stereo “360 Sound”

Headliner Series, CBS, Harmony Stereo. A product of Columbia Records

Back cover photo: Columbia Records Photo Studio – Sandy Speiser / Manufactured by Columbia Records/ CBS, Inc./51 W. 52 Street, New York, N. Y. / ® “Harmony”, “CBS,” Marcas Reg. Printed in U.S.A.

Additional Information

SKU KH30673
Record Label CBS/SONY
Year 1971
Condition Pre-Owned
Size - Speed 12 inch - 33⅓ r.p.m
Record Grading Near Mint (95% new)        
Album Cover Grading Near Mint (95% new)        
Artist Mormon Tabernacle Choir