Icelandic descendants of Vikings singing a hymn in a German train station. They totally need to be on the next Thor soundtrack.
Oh man oh man oh man. 6 guys, and it FILLS THE SPACE. Luck of the architecture - and they know how to pull it off. Nothing is easy making vocal music in a space not built for it. I want to do this kind of thing - randomly perform multipart harmony in public spaces.
I have done something like this a couple of times, that is, sung a multipart piece of music in public, with friends, usually a reprise of something we had just sung in a concert. These guys are glorious.
Benjamin Britten, A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: This little Babe. Performed by the Oxford Girls’ Choir. Lyrics from Robert Southwell’s poem Newe Heaven, Newe Warre, 16th century.
This little babe so few days old, Is come to rifle Satan’s fold; All hell doth at His presence quake, Though He Himself for cold do shake; For in this weak unarmèd wise The gates of hell He will surprise.
With tears He fights and wins the field, His naked breast stands for a shield, His battering shot are babish cries, His arrows, looks of weeping eyes, His martial ensigns, cold and need, And feeble flesh His warrior’s steed.
His camp is pitchèd in a stall, His bulwark but a broken wall, The crib His trench, hay-stalks His stakes, Of shepherds He His muster makes; And thus, as sure His foe to wound, The angels’ trumps alarum sound.
My soul, with Christ join thou in fight; Stick to the tents that He hath pight; Within His crib is surest ward, This little babe will be thy guard; If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy, Then flit not from this heavenly boy.
Bit early for ‘Ceremony of Carols,’ but it’s Britten’s birthday, and ‘Ceremony of Carols’ is my favourite work of his.
Benjamin Britten, ‘Nicolas comes to Myra and is chosen as Bishop,’ from “Saint Nicolas”
We sang the entirety of “Saint Nicolas” at Oxford, which was only my second experience with Britten, really. The only other I’d had was listening to and singing parts of the “Ceremony of Carols.” I was pretty sure I liked his music, but I hadn’t put any effort into seeking out much more of it. Singing this piece was what motivated me.