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Sunday, November 27, 2005

There Shall A Star

This Advent season, I am going to post an Advent/Christmas carol each day. Because I have impeccable musical taste, you, my readers, can trust that the pieces I choose to post will be awesome, and you should all listen to them.

Today's Advent piece is There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob, from the oratorio Christus by Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn never finished this oratorio, which he intended to be the middle of a trilogy with Elijah and St. Paulus. (Incidently, choir and orchestra performed Elijah last year, and choir recently sang How Lovely Are the Messengers from St. Paulus; it's a beautiful piece!) Among the movements Mendelssohn did complete is There Shall a Star, based on Numbers 24:17.

There shall a star come out of Jacob,
and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel,
with might destroying princes and cities!

As bright the star of morning gleams,
so Jesus sheddeth glorious beams
of light and consolation.
Thy Word. O Lord. Radiance darting,
Truth imparting, gives salvation;
Thine be praise and adoration!

Words and music: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Text: Numbers 24:17
"I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." (KJV)

Recording Sarah recommends: Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, Evensong for the Feast of Epiphany

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