To wish my blog friends a Happy Christmas, my new favorite carol
Thanks to Bryn Terfel's wonderful Christmas album this year, I discovered a carol that had eluded me, lo, these many years -- "Still, Still, Still." To me, it's nearly as perfect as "Silent Night" in unaffected beauty of words and melody. Turns out both of these lullaby carols are Austrian. Not sure if that means anything, but I figured I should mention it.
What really put me over the edge for "Still, Still, Still" was the arrangement by Mack Wilberg used on Terfel's recording. I couldn't find a YouTube clip of that, but there was one of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, so that will have to do. The harmonies in the accompaniment really are terrific, I think, giving a very simple melody an affecting depth.
The carol works just as well, unadorned, of course. I've posted such a version by the Vienna Choir Boys, followed by the rich Wilberg arrangement. I think you'll find both quite charming. With this gentle, tender music, I send Christmas greetings to one and all: